Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Roger Gray trial postponed for five months

Roger Gray
Image caption Roger Gray lived in Edinburgh's Merchiston Crescent

A dispute over psychiatric evidence has caused the murder trial of an Edinburgh lecturer to be put off for five months.

Pawel Rodak, 21, has had his trial put off so the Crown can investigate his mental health at the time that, by his own admission, he killed Roger Gray.

Mr Gray, 64, a Heriot-Watt University maths lecturer, was found at his Merchiston Crescent home in March 2011, with multiple stab wounds.

A new trial date has been set at the High Court in Livingston on 8 May.

Rodak's counsel David Burns QC asked judge Lord Bannatyne the case be adjourned after a defence psychiatric report found Rodak suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Polish national has already admitted the culpable homicide of the lecturer, but his plea was rejected by the Crown.

Mr Burns said there had been certain developments from meetings that a psychiatrist brought in by the defence had had with Rodak earlier this week.

He said: "There has been further information in relation to apparent treatment he received in Poland as a child and teenager and resulted in a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

"That and other information has caused the psychiatrist to review his diagnosis from earlier this year, and led him to be of the view that Mr Rodak had, and had at the time in March, post-traumatic stress disorder."

He said that he had informed the Crown of these findings, and the information was passed onto Dr John Crichton, consultant forensic psychiatrist at the Orchard Clinic, Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

Interests of justice

He said the doctor, who is to be called as a Crown witness, does not "respect" the findings.

Advocate depute Pino Di Emidio, prosecuting, said that in Dr Crichton's opinion it was "very important for him to see the records which exist".

Lord Bannatyne said: "I am satisfied that it is appropriate that this should be adjourned in the interests of justice."

There will be a further preliminary hearing in the case on 29 March 2012 at the High Court in Edinburgh to check the status of reports, before a trial at the High Court in Livingston on 8 May.

Rodak, who was assisted in court by a translator, is currently detained at Polmont's Young Offenders' Institution facing two charges.

It is alleged that on 18 and 19 March at Mr Gray's flat in Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh, he murdered the lecturer by repeatedly striking him on the head and body with knives or similar instruments.

The Polish national faces a further charge that between 18 March and 24 March he attempted to defeat the ends of justice at addresses throughout the city. He denies the charges.

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