Leytonstone Tube station knifeman could receive hospital order


A schizophrenic knifeman could be given a hospital order instead of jail when he is sentenced today after going on an Islamic State-inspired rampage at a Tube station.

Somali-born Muhiddin Mire, 30, targeted strangers at random in the ticket hall at Leytonstone Underground station in east London on December 5 last year.

He grabbed fellow passenger Lyle Zimmerman and tried to behead the 56-year-old musician after they travelled on the same train from Stratford to Leytonstone, where Mire lived alone in Sansom Road.

attack at Leytonstone Tube station

One onlooker shouted at him: "You ain't no Muslim, bruv", after he declared he was going to "spill blood" for his "Syrian brothers".

He had images of Fusilier Lee Rigby and British Islamic State (IS) executioner Jihadi John on his mobile phone, along with material linked to IS.

Mire is due to be sentenced at 12pm on Monday at the Old Bailey in London.

He has a history of mental illness and psychosis, including the paranoid belief that he was being persecuted for his religion and stalked by MI5 and MI6.

attack at Leytonstone Tube station

Speaking at a previous hearing Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, Recorder of London, said: "There are obviously a whole range of options as far as the offence of attempted murder is concerned.

"That includes the possibility of an indeterminate custodial sentence at one end and the possibility of a hospital order at the other."

Mr Zimmerman said he was "fortunate" to have received prompt first aid treatment at the scene from a passing junior doctor.

In a statement read during a pre-sentence hearing, he said he was "quite lucky" to have survived.

"I have been left with a scar on my neck which I am aware of only because it pulls when I use my voice but is otherwise superficial and healing well," he said.

attack at Leytonstone Tube station

"I am somewhat more cautious about interacting with strangers since the attack - overall I have not been significantly traumatised by the attack psychologically," he added.

Mire has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and suffered his first episode of psychosis in 2006, the court heard.

He apparently first viewed IS material on his phone around three years before the attack.

Dr Shaun Bhattacherjee, a consultant psychiatrist treating Mire at Broadmoor Hospital, said he was "clearly mentally ill at the time of the events" and poses a "very severe" risk to the public.

Cannabis use made a "significant" contribution to what was "probably" a case of paranoid schizophrenia, according to consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph.

He also suggested that although Mire's state of psychosis might have had an influence on the decision to carry out the stabbing, the link was not definite.