Hammersmith man who attacked Muslim cleric is 'insane'

Attacker will be detained at mental health facility

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A man charged with assaulting a Muslim preacher at Regent’s Park Mosque has been found ‘not guilty’ by reason of insanity.

The 58-year-old cleric, who has not been named, was assaulted at Regent's Park Mosque by Brian Donegan, 40, last August, Southwark Crown Court heard.

The imam underwent emergency surgery after suffering injuries to both eyes.

Donegan, from Hammersmith, west London, was charged with grievous bodily harm and assault and was detained at a mental health facility.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman said a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity is "quite rare" and both defence and prosecution have to agree to it.


Donegan was examined by two psychiatrists who testified that he was "insane at the time of the act charged".

The spokeswoman said the only other case in the recent past was that of City insurance executive, Alberto Izaga, 36, who killed his two-year-old daughter.

Mr Izaga was "in a frenzy" when he smashed Yanire's head on the ground repeatedly, the Old Bailey ruled in January.

 

June 6, 2008