Banned driver declared unfit for trial and detained in notorious secure hospital

editorial image
Have your say

A banned driver who was declared unfit to stand trial for motoring offences has been detained in a secure hospital which has housed notorious killers.

David Lewins was accused of burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and driving while disqualified after a Mazda motor was stolen during a break-in at a family home in 2014.

After a trial before a jury at Newcastle Crown court it was proved the 35-year-old did get behind the wheel of the car, which was driven dangerously, and the facts were proved against him in relation to the driving offences.

The jury found the facts of the burglary did not prove he was involved.

The court heard Lewins’ mental state meant he was unfit to plead or stand trial in the usual way.

Judge John Milford QC yesterday ordered him to be detained in Rampton Hospital, a top security hospital where child killer nurse Beverley Allitt and Soham murderer Ian Huntley have been serving their life sentences.

Lewins, of Chester Street, Blackwell, Houghton, appeared at the hearing via videolink to the hospital.

Judge Milford told him: “I am satisfied you are suffering from a mental illness which is of a nature and degree to require treatment in hospital.

“Appropriate medical treatment is currently available at Rampton Hospital, where you are currently an inpatient.”

Lewins was found unfit to stand trial after the court heard evidence from two psychiatrists about his mental state.

The hospital order is without limit of time, meaning he will only be released when experts are convinced it is safe to do so and he has responded to treatment.