Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Suffolk: Inquiry after ‘suicidal’ crash man dies while awaiting sentence for seriously injuring family

12:18 14 January 2014

Inquiry into suicidal man

Inquiry into suicidal man's death while awaiting sentence

Archant

An inquiry is under way after a suicidal man who seriously injured a family of five in a car crash died in the care of mental health professionals before his sentencing.

shares

David Smith took his mother’s VW Golf without permission before ramming it into a Toyota Yaris, in an attempt to take his own life at the A11 Elveden crossroads, near Thetford, on January 5 last year.

When The 29-year-old appeared before Ipswich Crown Court to plead guilty to dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking he was said to have had a morbid fascination with killing himself.

Although Smith sustained relatively minor injuries, he left the occupants of the Toyota requiring emergency treatment.

A girl, aged 13, suffered a dislocated hip. Another girl, aged 15, sustained a fractured arm, a bleed on the brain and a fractured facial bone, while a 19-year-old woman had a fractured leg.

A 49-year-old man had fractures to the base of his spine, legs and chest, while a 48-year-old woman sustained fractures and a dislocated elbow. All were from Gillingham in Kent.

After Smith’s guilty plea in August he was released into the residential care of mental health specialists in Coventry.

It was intended that he be brought back to Ipswich Crown Court, but the sentencing never went ahead. The case was subsequently closed.

It has now emerged Smith, formerly of Central Avenue, Coventry, died on October 11 last year at University Hospital in Clifford Bridge Road, Coventry.

At the time Smith – who was originally arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, was being treated by the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.

A full inquest is still to held, although a hearing is scheduled to take place at Coventry Magistrates Court next Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the coroner in Coventry said the initial cause of death has been given as external compression of the neck.

An inquiry has also begun at the health trust.

A spokesman for the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “Any unexpected death of a patient in our care will be the subject of a formal, internal investigation in which we try to learn any lessons that might arise from the events that took place.

“We will also co-operate fully with any external investigation that police, the coroner or any other agency need to carry out.

“At present, we are awaiting the outcome of the coroner’s inquest into this case, and so have no further comment to make at this time.”

At Smith’s plea hearing, his barrister Steven Dyble, the court his client had suffered from schizophrenia for the last decade and had a “morbid fascination” with killing himself.

The court was also told Smith was trying to kill himself at the moment the A11 crash took place.

Judge David Goodin adjourned the case for psychiatric reports to be prepared, with a view to the court making a hospital order under the Mental Health Act.

Smith, who only had a provisional driving licence, also pleaded guilty to driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and having no insurance.

shares

0 comments

Rail passengers will be bussed to Newbury Park Tube station.

A 100-strong fleet of buses was rolling into action today to keep passengers moving between East Anglia and London as the first weekend rail line closure takes effect.

File photo.

More than 200 properties and businesses were without power in and around the town centre this evening.

Storymaker

This weekend is set to be cold and overcast, with just a hint of sun on Sunday - making it difficult to entertain young children.

Traffic

The A14 has reopened after a seven-vehicle crash on the A14 this evening.

Remi Morrison is pictured at Pump and Grind in Ipswich.

Another week of great music and events is upon us and Remi Morrison brings you a round up of what is happening in Ipswich over the next few days.

Smokey joes burger deli Ipswich

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis checks out Ipswich’s newest burger joint

Events such as Thursday's Harry Potter Night have helped libraries become a hub for the community

People in Suffolk are today being urged people to back their local library – or risk losing them.

Stowmarket's Regal Theatre is premiering Dad's Army. In conjunction with the cinemas 80th Birthday.

A Suffolk town’s theatre and cinema kicked off its 80th birthday celebrations in style with a sell-out premiere screening of star-studded film Dad’s Army.

Oscar Fitzgerald

A man from Lowestoft who raped a 12-year-old girl after meeting her online has been jailed.

Tower Ramparts in the early 1930s. This is now the townÕs bus station. The building in the right background is now the Robert Ransome public house.

Tower Ramparts, Ipswich, is the name of the road stretching from Northgate Street to High Street and the bus station for Ipswich Buses, writes David Kindred.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24