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Naked driver acquitted on mental health grounds after road worker killed in crash

By Dayna Farrington | Dudley | Crime | Published:

A man has been found not guilty on mental health grounds after a Dudley road worker was killed in a crash.

Ansley Road, in Stockingford, Nuneaton. Image: Google

Blaine Rock, aged 22, was killed while working alongside his father Harry and their workmate Paul Currie, on a road surfacing crew, in Nuneaton.

Sorin Laszlo was spotted driving stark naked past a queue of cars waiting at a red light at the B4112 roadworks in September 2018.

Mr Currie was also injured and needed hospital care for three months – during which he was in a coma for the first few weeks.

Despite Laszlo's victims being hit by his Peugeot 308 people-carrier, he carried on driving before crashing into a lamppost and ending up in a hedge, the court was told.

He was detained by onlookers until police arrived.

Jurors took 45 minutes to reach a not guilty verdict on Mr Laszlo's charges of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury.

He was acquitted by reason of insanity following a trial at Warwick Crown Court.

But 42-year-old, from Nuneaton, still faces an order under the Mental Health Act detaining him in a secure psychiatric unit until it is decided he no longer poses a danger to the public.

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Mr Laszlo, of Nuneaton, had denied the charges.

After hearing from two psychiatrists who agreed on his mental condition, the jury returned unanimous verdicts of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Psychiatrists Dr Dinesh Maganty and Dr Ramneesh Puri both concluded that Laszlo, who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, characterised by delusions of paranoia, was legally insane.

After the jury returned its verdicts, Judge Anthony Potter, said: "The opinion of both doctors is that he should be detained under a hospital order for his treatment and for the protection of the public.”

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The case was adjourned until round February 27

Judge Potter, who observed that it had had "a terrible effect on the Rock family", added: "It has been a case of a man who has had an undiagnosed psychiatric condition and drove when he ought not to have been driving, and there was a truly tragic outcome.

“It will be a hospital order with a restriction because of the risk he poses to the public, which he has acknowledged.”

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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