A JURY has taken just 45 minutes to find a man who killed one highways worker and injured another, by driving dangerously through road works stark naked, not guilty by reason of insanity.

But driver Sorin Laszlo 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.

He had denied causing the death of 22-year-old Dudley man Blaine Rock by dangerous driving and causing serious injury to Paul Currie ‘by reason of insanity.’

And after hearing from two psychiatrists who agreed on his mental condition, the jury at Warwick Crown Court returned unanimous verdicts of ‘not guilty by reason of insanity.’

The case was adjourned for one of the psychiatrists to attend the court later this month to give evidence on what type of order should be made on Laszlo, aged 42, of Grove Road, Nuneaton, under the Mental Health Act.

Prosecutor Matthew Barnes had said: “On Friday the 14th of September 2018, at just after 10.30am, a horrific road traffic collision occurred when a car driven by this defendant struck two wholly innocent and unsuspecting road workers, killing one and seriously injuring the other.”

The person killed was Blaine Rock, who was just 22 when he was tragically killed while he was working alongside his father Harry and their workmate Paul Currie on a road surfacing crew.

His injuries included a serious neck fracture from which he died, while Mr Currie’s injuries left him in hospital for three months, during which he was in a coma for the first few weeks.

The two men were working on a section of the B4112 Ansley Road at Stockingford, Nuneaton, in a coned-off area on what would be the off-side of the road for traffic heading out of Nuneaton.

There were cars waiting at a red light on the 40mph road when Laszlo drove straight past them in the middle of the road at 30-33mph in a Peugeot 308 people-carrier.

“The defendant simply appears to have ignored not only the red light, but the queue of traffic, and simply overtook the queue of stationary vehicles, not braking or reducing his speed.

“Having gone past the queue, having gone past the red traffic light, it ploughed straight ahead, entering the cordoned-off area of the road works, crashing through the cones.”

If he had steered back onto the correct side of the road Laszlo could have passed the road works safely – but instead he ploughed into Mr Rock and Mr Currie.

“They were both standing drilling the road surface, and they may well have had their backs to the oncoming Peugeot. They were certainly wearing ear protectors because of the noise of the drilling, and it seems likely they were unaware of the danger.

The two men were carried on the car’s bonnet for about 400 metres, and it was only when Laszlo failed to negotiate a bend and crashed into a lamppost that they men came off.

The car ended up in a hedge, and Laszlo, whose clothes were later found in the car, got out ‘completely naked’ and ran off, but was caught by ‘brave and stunned members of the public.’

Since his arrest Laszlo, who tested negative for drink or drugs, has been being treated at the Tamarind Centre mental health unit in Birmingham.

And Mr Barnes pointed out that psychiatrists Dr Dinesh Maganty and Dr Ramneesh Puri have 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 explained: “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.”

He said the psychiatrists also agreed that Laszlo should be subject to a restriction under which he will be detained ‘until he is no longer considered a danger to the public.’

That would mean that he could only be discharged with the approval of the Secretary of State – but such an order can only be made after verbal evidence is given by one of the psychiatrists.

So Judge Potter adjourned the case for that to be done on February 27 or another date on which Dr Puri is able to attend, and ordered that Laszlo remain at the Tamarind Centre until then.

The judge, who observed that it had had ‘a terrible effect on the Rock family', commented: “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.”