Treatment vs Medico-Legal

Dr Bench now provides treatment and medico-legal assessments out of the JustMinds office in Bolton Street, Newcastle.

Medical form with stethoscope

Dr Christopher Bench

General Adult and Forensic Psychiatry 

Principal / Consultant Psychiatrist 

Dr Bench completed his medical training at the University of Sydney. After working in forensic psychiatry in New Zealand, he completed his formal psychiatric training at St Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, where he was Chief Resident.

Dr Bench went on to complete a Fellowship in Psychiatry and the Law at the University of Southern California Institute of Psychiatry and Law. He then worked as a consultant psychiatrist in a maximum security psychiatric unit in Los Angeles and had a private practice specialising in criminal forensic psychiatry, testifying in the Superior Court of Los Angeles on numerous occasions.

Dr Bench returned to Australia in 2006 to take up the position of Staff Specialist - Forensics. He was the the Medical Superintendent at Morisset Hospital for five years. He then held the position of Senior Staff Specialist in Forensic Psychiatry and worked with the Newcastle Court Liaison Service. Dr Bench also held a position of Visiting Medical Officer with Justice Health and worked at Cessnock Correctional Facility.

Dr Bench maintains a private practice specialising in the provision of medico-legal reports and general adult psychiatric treatment. He has been qualified as an expert witness in Forensic Psychiatry in the District Court of New South Wales. Dr Bench has  been appointed as a Motor Accidents Authority Medical Assessment Service Assessor and Review Panel Assessor.  Dr Bench is an Approved Medical Specialist for the Workers Compensation Commission of NSW.  He is also a trained Assessor of Permanent Impairment for Workcover NSW, Comcare and the Motor Accidents Authority.


Dr Sachin Rai

Forensic Psychiatry

Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Rai graduated from Medicine in 1997.  He has worked in mental health services since 2001. Over the years, as a psychiatrist, he has practised across a broad range of areas in mental health. He has also completed specialist Forensic Psychiatry training in Australia, being an alumnus from University of New South Wales having completed the Masters in Forensic Mental Health in 2017.

As a Forensic Psychiatrist over the years, he has developed experience work within prison settings and secure mental health units in the public health system. This work includes assessment and management of various kinds of psychiatric presentations, acute and chronic psychiatric disorders, risk assessments and management, long term rehabilitation work with patients suffering from multiple and complex issues, and liaison work with many different stakeholders. 

Dr Rai also completes private medico-legal work. He has expertise in all manner of civil and criminal medico-legal work, including such as worker’s compensation, fitness for work, fitness to stand trial, mental health defences, Section 32 matters, pre-sentencing reports and others. He is an accredited for the assessment of permanent impairment with the Workers Compensation Commission and SIRA (previously known as the Motor Accidents Authority).  He also completes criminal forensic psychiatric reports for Justice Health, as part of the court reporting unit in New South Wales.

Dr Rai also has an interest in providing consultation services to colleagues and other professionals in related fields, teaching activities with colleagues from various disciplines, safety and quality work and as an examiner for medical students He is a supervisor of junior medical colleagues and allied health professionals. He is a conjoint lecturer at the University of Newcastle. 

Across these settings, Dr Rai is committed to assisting individuals with diagnoses of mental illness who have encountered the legal system.  

Mental illness continues to provoke a significant burden and stigma in the community. Dr Rai strives to provide ongoing input not only as a specialist but also, an experience of humanly interaction to people for any such encounters.