Man found not guilty of rape and GBH with intent, by reason of insanity

17/08/2011

A 23 year-old Slough man charged with raping and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to a woman in her fifties has been found not guilty, by reason of insanity.

The man, who is not being named for legal reasons, was found not guilty by reason of insanity, of both charges at Reading Crown Court this afternoon (17/8) following a three-day trial. However, he will be committed to a secure psychiatric hospital in accordance with the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 and the Mental Health Act 1983. In addition, a restriction order was given under Section 41 of the Mental Health Act.

The charges related to an incident at an address in Slough on 12 November, 2010, which began with police receiving a 999 call shortly before 7pm. Officers immediately attended, where they spoke to a man and woman. They left after completing the relevant paperwork and the woman confirmed to the officers that she felt safe.

At approximately 9.20pm that same evening, a road traffic collision was reported to police, stating that a man had been hit by a car in Slough. Police attended and the man was taken to hospital.

Meanwhile, the officers who had attended the address in Slough earlier, heard the incident over their police radios and immediately believed it was the same man involved. After attending the collision scene initially, both officers then went back to the house where they found a woman seriously injured, including severe facial injuries.

She was taken to hospital with what was described as being life-changing injuries, as doctors said that it was highly likely that she would lose sight in both eyes. Sadly, this proved to be the case. Meanwhile, the man was also treated at hospital for a serious leg injury, before being transferred to a secure unit whilst under arrest, as he was not deemed fit to be interviewed by police at the time. 

At Reading Crown Court today, CPS Prosecutor, Alan Blake, said: 'Members of the jury at Reading Crown Court have heard all the evidence, including the psychiatric reports and have today reached a not guilty verdict for both charges, due to reasons of insanity. The Prosecution is satisfied that this is the correct verdict.

'The defendant, who is 23, will be sent to Three Bridges medium security hospital to be treated for his mental illness.

'The victim will have to live with the lasting effects of the appalling events on 12 November, 2010, for the rest of her life. We can only hope that today's outcome will allow her to move forward with her life.'

Inspector Steve Armstead said: 'The jury has today decided that the defendant in this case was not in a position to distinguish between right and wrong and suffered from a mental illness, meaning that the 23-year-old was mentally insane.'

'The victim sustained horrific and life changing injuries. I can honestly say that I have never dealt with a case like this in my career of nearly thirty years, a sentiment that was echoed by a paramedic with over twenty years service.

'It is hard to imagine what the victim has been through over the past year. However, she has been remarkable in terms of supporting our investigation and this case, and I therefore like to pay tribute to her strength given what has been such a troubling time.

'I would also like to thank our family liasion officer, PC Guri Roald, who has provided tremendous support to the woman concerned in this case and her family, along with the Investigating Officer, DC Charlotte Taylor.'