Man detained after two-jury court hearing

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The Independent Online
A MAN who attempted to rape a teenage girl on the London Underground was ordered to be detained in hospital without time limit yesterday after one of the first cases to use a new two-jury system.

Roger Williams, 26, a schizophrenic, appeared before the first jury at Knightsbridge Crown Court under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity and Unfitness to Plead) Act which became law earlier this year.

Its decison that he was unfit to plead meant he could not go through a trial.

He then went before a second jury which was asked to decide whether Williams, who was also accused of indecent assault, 'did the acts as charged'.

Duncan Munro-Kerr, for the prosecution, said previously a person charged with an offence who was unfit to plead would have been detained in a mental hospital. 'But if it had been possible to try him, he could have been found not guilty and walked free. So they said if a person has been found unfit to plead another jury should . . . decide whether . . . the defendant did the act as charged,' he said.

The second jury decided that in connection with the attempted rape 'he did the act as charged' and it was discharged from reaching a decision on the indecent assault charge.