Tram-stop killer who knifed dad-of-four jailed for life

A mentally-ill man who killed a father-of four in a "sudden, violent and completely senseless" knife attack has been jailed for life.

Alaeldien Ahmed launched the random attack on Anthony Banting at a tram stop in March last year, as the victim went to the pub to meet his son.

Mr Banting - known as Tony - was stabbed more than 50 times in the frenzied assault in Winson Green, Birmingham, by Ahmed, who he had never met.

His son James Banting told a court his "lovely" father and "best friend" was killed in "a sudden, violent and completely senseless way", which had left a hole in the family which could never be filled.

Tram stop murder
Anthony Banting, 57, known as 'Tony' to family and friends, was described in court as a 'lovely' family man whose death had left a 'huge hole'. (British Transport Police/PA)

Ahmed was convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after trial, and was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday.

CCTV captured Ahmed walking along the street moments before the attack, and after his arrest was found to have the victim's blood on his shoes.

Originally from Sudan, he arrived in Britain in the back of lorry after claiming he was tortured in his homeland.

But he developed paranoid schizophrenia, and spent three months in a secure unit in the UK prior to the attack, then stopped taking anti-psychotic medication after his release.

Alaeldien Ahmed
Alaeldien Ahmed was convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility in February, after a three-week trial. (British Transport Police/PA)

The 27-year-old of Eva Road, Birmingham, was given life with a minimum term of 12 years, but also made subject to a hospital order meaning he continues to be treated at the secure mental health unit where he has been held since November 2017.

The judge said Ahmed had shown evidence of "rational" behaviour, including disposing of the knife and cleaning blood off his clothing following the deadly assault on his "wholly innocent" victim.

Sentencing, Judge Paul Farrer QC said: "Alaeldien Ahmed on March 31, 2017, you launched a sustained and frenzied attack on Anthony Banting with a knife.

"You represent a continuing danger to the public and the appropriate sentence is one of life imprisonment."

James Banting, reading a statement in court on behalf of all four sons, said: "He was a father of four sons, a grandfather of two and a friend to me.

"On March 31, 2017, our lives changed forever.

"We lost our leader, our stability, our comfort blanket and best friend."

He revealed he had to phone one of his brothers, away on holiday at the time, to pass on news from British Transport Police that their father had been violently killed.

Two of the brothers had to move out of and sell the family home they shared with their father, as it was too difficult to remain there in the place they had grown up.

Mr Banting added: "Eleven months later when we should have been preparing for Dad's 58th birthday, we have had to be put through the emotional upheaval of a crown court trial.

"When this trial finishes, the bubble of support goes away and we'll just be left to deal with a huge hole in our hearts."

He added: "The hardest thing is I did not get the chance to say thank you for making me the man I am today.

"It was a sudden, violent and completely senseless way that he died.

"We still do not know the reason why.

"The pain of this loss is indescribable and goes on today, and tomorrow."

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