Grandmother, 51, sentenced to indefinite hospital order after admitting to manslaughter of grandson, 5, by stabbing

20 June 2023, 15:51 | Updated: 20 June 2023, 20:08

Anghel has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order.
Anghel has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order. Picture: PA/West Midlands Police

By Jenny Medlicott

The grandmother of a five-year-old boy has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order after she admitted to stabbing him while he was in her care.

Elena Anghel, 51, has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order after she admitted to the manslaughter of her grandson, David-Mario Lazar, 5, who died last year.

Anghel was looking after her grandson, known to family as Mario, on 25 January 2022 when she stabbed him at his Coventry home. She was suffering delusions linked to paranoid schizophrenia at the time which is what led her to kill him.

She pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility but did not plead guilty to murder, which prosecution accepted.

Sentenced at Warwick Crown Court today, the judge 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."

Anghel had an extensive history of suffering from both psychotic and depressive disorders in Romania, where she is originally from, dating back to as far as 2009.

But the parents of Mario were not aware she suffered from any ongoing mental health issues.

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David-Mario Lazar has been described as 'very happy boy' by his parents.
David-Mario Lazar has been described as 'very happy boy' by his parents. Picture: PA
Elen Anghel with her grandson David-Mario.
Elena Anghel with her grandson David-Mario. Picture: Facebook

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Prosecutor Christopher Tehrani KC told the court: "She has no previous convictions. She does however have a psychiatric history.

"Mario's parents were aware that the defendant had had prior problems with mental health. David-Mario's parents were not aware of any continuing mental health issues."

She was watching over her grandson when his parents, Cristina and Dorinel were at work. David-Mario's father reportedly picked him up from school and dropped him off with his grandmother before returning to work.

Mrs Justice Cockerill described the case as “truly tragic”.

Reading her victim impact statement, Mario’s mother Cristina said: “Mario was five years old when he died and he was killed by my mother.

"I still cannot believe this has happened. It is over a year ago now and nothing changes.

"In our home Mario is everywhere. There are pictures and memories of him all over.

“"He will never be forgotten.

"I never saw her (Anghel) do anything around my son that would alarm me. She loved him and he loved her.

"I would never have trusted her to care for Mario if she had shown any signs of illness."

A post-mortem examination found that David-Mario suffered from 29 injuries as a result of sharp force, including wounds on his head, chest, back and hand.

Mr Tehrani summarised a statement from his mother that was made after he was killed, he said: “He was the most precious thing to her. He was her world. He was always happy and smiling."

Referring to Anghel’s delusions, he said: “She said she had done what she had done to Mario out of love.”

Police arrived at the scene after his death, where it was reported that she made delusional claims saying she didn’t want him to suffer at the hands of somebody of else.

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