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I'LL SUE THE BUNGLERS WHO DROVE ME MAD; Dad is cleared over sword rampage.

A MAN who went berserk with a samurai sword when his address was leaked in the Stephen Lawrence inquiry report said yesterday he would sue bureaucrats for driving him mad.

Father-of-five Errol Kelly, 35, was cleared of attempted murder when a judge ordered a jury to return a verdict of "not guilty by reason of insanity".

Mr Kelly a hard-working, self-employed carpenter, tried to kill a policeman when he ran amok, embedding the sword in the roof of a patrol car.

He cracked after police warned his family they would have to be moved from their home because the address error put them at risk.

Psychiatrists told the Old Bailey the error drove Kelly temporarily insane.

He could not remember the event and had since recovered.

After the case his solicitor, Michael Reid, said Mr Kelly would seek compensation.

He added: "He suffered 12 months' loss of earnings and was incarcerated in Belmarsh prison before being given the psychiatric help he desperately needed.

"Mr Kelly was about to buy his home from the council under the right-to-buy scheme and he devoted all his spare time in doing it up.

"We will be putting all this to the Home Office and will wait for them to make Mr Kelly an offer. If they do not respond, we will issue proceedings."

The jury heard how Mr Kelly went on the rampage in the early hours of June 13 last year.

He was in his nightwear when he left his home near the scene of Stephen Lawrence's racist murder in Eltham, south east London.

He got into his car and drove the wrong way down the A20 before ramming another vehicle, getting out and wielding the sword. No one was hurt.

Mr Kelly's wife Alison had earlier warned police about her husband's mental state and pleaded unsuccessfully for help.

Mr Kelly did not give evidence to the Lawrence inquiry but lived in the home of someone who had.

All the addresses should have been kept secret.

Mr Kelly had a brief mental illness 14 years ago which left him vulnerable to further problems if under high stress.

Imposing a two-year supervision and treatment order, Judge Martin Stephens told him: "You were incapable of knowing what you were doing and you could not distinguish right from wrong."

He was also cleared of affray, having an offensive weapon and dangerous driving. He had denied all the charges.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We're aware of the case but are unable to comment further until we have assessed the legal situation."
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Author:Shaw, Adrian
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 15, 2000
Words:425
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