RCSI student handed suspended sentence

A medical school dropout who claimed he had “a friendship” with the Taliban and sent threatening letters to 10 of his past tutors has been given a three year suspended sentence.

Colin Joyce studied at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and was refused readmission to complete his medical degree after multiple attempts at his fourth year.

He left the college in 2007 due to mental health difficulties.

The former student began to write letters to doctors and professors in 2012 and threatened the release of confidential information regarding 1300 patients.

The letters included personal information about the receipts, according to The Irish Times.

Joyce told one man that he had information about his wife and children, which the man said he found alarming.

At times Joyce demanded cash or readmittance to the college and claimed to have a relationship with the Taliban as well as local paramilitaries. He said would put together a bomb for him.

Defending solicitor Michael O’Higgins said that Joyce was “psychotically vulnerable” and had “persecution delusions” over his perceived mistreatment by the RCSI.

O’Higgins said that with “the proper psychiatric assistance” Joyce could be a “valuable member of society”.

Judge Martin Nolan said Joyce had “worrying characteristics” and was finding it difficult to understand he must move on.

Stephen Keegan

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