Terminally ill Home & Away star charged with property damage and could be jailed

Terminally ill Home And Away actor Joel McIlroy has reportedly been charged with damaging property.

The 50-year-old – who has been diagnosed with rare, inherited brain disease Huntington's – has been accused of intentionally or recklessly destroying property in a suburb of Sydney, Australia in July, reported The Australian.

It is alleged that the actor – who is best known to TV viewers as Summer Bay’s Flynn Saunders – damaged a passenger window and frame.

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If he were to be convicted, Joel could face up to five years in jail.

However, the star's lawyer has said there will be application for the charges to be dealt with under the Mental Health Act.

This would mean that the TV star would be able to avoid time in prison.

The NHS says that Huntington’s “is a condition that stops parts of the brain working properly over time”.

It is inherited from a person's parents and symptoms can include difficulty moving, depression, difficulty concentrating and memory lapses.

The NHS website says it “gets gradually worse over time and is usually fatal after a period of up to 20 years”.

Joel is best known for playing Flynn in the Aussie soap from 2003 to 2006.

He was actually in the programme almost 10 years earlier in a small extra role, then returned to take over the part of Flynn from actor Martin Dingle-Wall.

The character was married to Home And Away favourite Sally (played by Kate Ritchie), but ended up passing away after a cancer battle.

Joel’s other TV credits include the shows Heartbreak High, All Saints and Love Is A Four Letter Word.

He has also appeared on the big screen, with a role in 2000 comedy Angst.

The application for the charges to be dealt with under the Mental Health Act is due to be heard in September.

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