Christopher Tehrani KC prosecutes ‘truly tragic’ case

June 22, 2023

Christopher Tehrani KC of Exchange Chambers, leading Peter Grieves-Smith of the Crown Prosecution Service, prosecuted a ‘truly tragic’ case in which a grandmother stabbed her five-year-old grandson multiple times resulting in his death. At the time, the defendant was suffering with delusions linked to paranoid schizophrenia.

On 20th June 2023, before Mrs Justice Cockerill, sitting in the Crown Court at Warwick, Elena Anghel, 51, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. The prosecution accepted the plea of guilty. She was sentenced to an hospital order with a restriction order.

Anghel has an extensive history of treatment in Romania for psychotic and depressive disorders dating back to 2009. On 25th January 2022, she killed her grandson, Mario, at the family home in Coventry.

Passing sentence, the judge described the case as ‘truly tragic’. The judge assessed the defendant’s degree of retained responsibility to be ‘low to medium.’

The judge, in passing sentence, said: ‘The sad truth is that when you killed Mario you were exceedingly mentally unwell. Your delusions were all encompassing. You had in effect lost contact with reality…You were convinced that your grandson was in such danger of terrible suffering that it would be better to kill him and that is what you did. I am sure you would never have hurt, much less killed, Mario had you not been very ill.’

Imposing a hospital order ‘without limit of time’ on Anghel, the judge said: ‘You have expressed profound remorse…So much so that you have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder…That course (a hospital order) is supported without reservation by all of the medical professionals…You will need treatment for the rest of your life. The evidence is clear – this is best done in hospital.”