Tuesday, July 31, 2012

British man pretending to be blind fails to see a ditch--and falls to his death

And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Matthew 15:14b

Sometimes it only takes one person to fall into a ditch, and he may be only pretending to be blind. As Paul Harvey would say, "Here's a strange..." As reported in the London Daily Telegraph, July 27, 2012:

Geoffrey Haywood, 65, walked with a white stick, used a talking watch and had carers to look after him.

But the inquest was told he could see perfectly well and if someone dropped money on a pavement he would be the first to pick it up.

Mr Haywood was been pretending to be blind when he went for a walk and fell into the ditch near his home.

A coroner described it as the most "extraordinary" case he has dealt with in more than 30 years.

Mr Haywood's brother Howard said: "Geoffrey had psychological blindness which started after the death of our mother.

"I would put a Christmas dinner in front of him and he would say: "Where's mine?".

"But if someone dropped money in front of him he would pick it up straight away.

"I believe he used it as a way of convincing people to take pity on him and help him.

"It became worse the more pressure that was on him, when he was lonely or if things weren't going his way."

The inquest in Newport, South Wales, heard doctors could find nothing wrong with Mr Haywood's sight even though he lived the life of a blind man.

A massive search was launched in March after Mr Haywood went missing from his home in Newport.

The hearing was told his body was found in a ditch just 150 yards from his front door.

Coroner David Bowen said: "Either he didn't see or didn't want to see the ditch, slipped and drowned.

"It's an extraordinary situation I've not come across before.

"I've been doing this more than 30 years and have never had a case as unique as this - someone convincing themselves they couldn't see."

Verdict: Accident.

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