Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 22 August 2017| 29 Zhul Qadha 1438
A schizophrenic man launched an unprovoked knife attack on a train passenger after yelling “I want to kill all the Muslims”, a court has heard.
Adrian Brown, 38, was said to be suffering a severe psychotic episode when he stabbed Muhammed Ali in a London Overground carriage on 12 December.
The intervention of other passengers on the train, which was travelling between Honor Oak Park and Forest Hill, south London, might have saved the victim’s life, his trial at Southwark crown court heard.
Brown accepted he carried out the attack but pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder on the grounds of insanity.
Prosecutor Alan Kent QC said: “The defendant was living in a hostel on the morning of December 12, he left that hostel armed with a knife – he was determined to find and kill Muslim men.
“He went to the train station at Honor Oak Park, which isn’t very far away from the hostel where he was living. He had with him a knife which he took from the hostel.
“He walked up and down the train threatening passengers, threatening death to Muslims while looking for any Muslim men to stab and kill.
“He saw the victim, Mr Muhammed Ali, who was sitting on the train with his wife. The defendant approached Mr Ali, who was sitting down, and repeatedly stabbed him to his head and his body.
“Other passengers on this train came to Mr Ali’s rescue and it would seem it was their bravery coupled with medical attention from a doctor and a nurse who happened to be on a train, that they may well have saved his life through their quick medical intervention.”
Ali suffered injuries to his head and torso, as well as a punctured lung.
Jurors will consider whether Brown was insane at the time of the attack. He is also accused of carrying a knife and assault by beating of hostel worker Filipe Dias during an earlier incident, both of which he denies on the grounds of insanity.
The court heard Brown had become agitated over the absence of hot water and set upon Dias, who had previously confiscated knives from him.
Kent said: “He was unhappy about a problem there with the hot water system. But there was something much more serious going on in his head at that time because what he suddenly came out with is ‘I’m going to destroy Isis, Isis are the problem’.”
He said Dias then came across Brown’s path and was grabbed by the throat and shouted at. “As he left the defendant was heard to say: ‘I’m going to kill some Muslims’.”
When at the station he was heard saying “where are all the Muslims? I am going to kill all the Muslims” before holding a knife to the throat of another woman, who was unhurt, the court heard.
He then spotted the victim, whose wife was wearing a hijab and a burka. He started swearing and shouting at him before repeatedly stabbing him. “He stabbed Mr Ali numerous times, the crown say, clearly in an attempt to kill him.”
Brown, of Brockley Rise in south-east London, appeared via video link from Broadmoor hospital during the hearing, wearing a brown tracksuit. It was heard two psychiatrists had determined he was insane at the time of the attack.
Kent said: “He is at Broadmoor hospital where he is being treated. He has a very long history of paranoid schizophrenia – there is no doubt that when he carried out these offences he was suffering a very severe psychotic episode.”
Jurors were told by Judge Deborah Taylor they could reach one of three verdicts: not guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity or guilty.
Brown’s defence counsel has to prove “on the balance of probabilities” that he was insane at the time, the court heard.
His defence was called “highly unusual” by Kent, who added: “But this is an unusual case.”
Source – The Guardian