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Judge claims it was 'miracle' no one was hurt during drama on M27 at Hedge End
Updated 5:29pm Thursday 8th May 2014 in News
A CONCRETE boulder was hurled from a bridge on to a Hampshire motorway, narrowly missing terrified motorists.
Driver Natalie Clare closed her eyes and prayed as a man stood on a bridge above the M27 brandishing a large block above his head.
The boulder narrowly missed her car and other vehicles when it was hurled to the road below.
Bronson Harley has now been sent to a specialist psychiatric hospital for an unlimited period of time after a judge claimed it was a “miracle” that no one was hurt.
Harley was detained under the Mental Health Act at a Southampton Crown Court hearing.
It came after Judge Derwin Hope ruled that the 22-year-old, from Somerton Avenue, Southampton, was unfit to plead to the allegation of endangering road users on June 28 last year.
Earlier the court heard how Harley – who has autism and severe learning difficulties – was seen throwing items from the St John’s Road bridge on to the westbound carriageway of the M27 at Hedge End.
Ms Clare, from Hedge End who was six months pregnant at the time, told the court how she called police moments after the boulder narrowly missed her car.
Another motorist, Kerry Alexander, was driving along St John’s Road when her daughter spotted Harley throwing things off the bridge.
She stopped the car and spoke to the man, who she saw was sweating profusely. He then ran off.
Police enforced a rolling motorway roadblock for colleagues to remove debris which cars had driven over. Harley was eventually arrested in Coates Road, Sholing.
He was found unfit to plead at a previous hearing at Southampton Crown Court. But after 30 minutes’ deliberation, jurors decided that he had committed the offence.
Yesterday mental health consultant Dr Lorna Duggan said that Harley’s understanding of the incident was “very limited” and that he previously referred to it as both “exciting” and “bad”.
She warned that he posed a danger to the public owing to previous aggressive outbursts to his family and psychiatric staff.
Dr Oliver White branded it an “isolated incident”.
Enforcing a hospital order with further restrictions, Judge Hope said: “While the reason for what he did is unknown, in my judgement there is serious risk of harmof committing further offences. He can give little insight into his behaviour.”
Judge Hope said it was a “miracle” that no one had been harmed and added: “Such an action is highly dangerous and could easily have fatal consequences.”
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