More details emerge of sword attack as suspect appears in court

An accused samurai sword attacker ran up behind a 14-year-old boy before slashing him in the neck and chest, a court has heard.

Marcus Arduini Monzo, a dual Spanish-Brazilian national living in Newham, east London, is accused of murdering teenager Daniel Anjorin as he was walking to school on Tuesday, and injuring four other people.

The 36-year-old appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, wearing a grey sweatshirt and grey tracksuit bottoms, and holding his left arm across his chest.

He spoke slowly with long pauses to confirm his name in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

It is alleged that Monzo crashed a van into a fence in Laing Close just before 7am on Tuesday, hitting a member of the public, Donato Iwule.

The court was told that he then got out of the van, said that he would kill the man and slashed him to the neck.

Prosecutor David Burns told the court that 15 minutes later it is alleged Monzo broke into a nearby home where a couple were asleep with their four-year-old daughter.

He went into the bedroom and attacked the child’s father, Henry De Los Rios Polania, shouting about believing in God and causing injuries to his neck and arm, it is alleged.

Court artist sketch of Marcus Aurelio Arduini Monzo appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court
Court artist sketch of Marcus Aurelio Arduini Monzo appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Monzo is accused of then running up behind Daniel and slashing his neck, before stabbing him in the chest as he lay on the ground.

Police officers arrived and tried to help the teenager, when it is alleged that Monzo appeared from a bush and they chased him.

The court was told that he jumped out at Pc Yasmin Margaret Mechem-Whitfield and attacked her with the sword while she was on the ground.

He is also accused of injuring a second officer, Inspector Moloy Elec Campbell.

Monzo has been charged with attempting to murder Mr Iwule and PC Mechem-Whitfield, and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr De Los Rios Polania and Inspector Campbell.

He has also been charged with aggravated burglary and possession of a bladed article.

Hainault incident
Floral tributes laid in Laing Close, Hainault (Yui Mok/PA)

The sister of Mr De Los Rios Polania has described her brother as a “hero” for protecting his family.

Jessica De Los Rios, 31, said her brother had been left “traumatised” by the event but described his actions as heroic.

“He’s very devastated to believe something like this could happen,” she told the PA news agency, adding: “To us, he’s our hero. He protected them, my niece and my sister-in-law.

“They were just literally sleeping, opened their eyes to see a man with a big machete sword.

“He felt helpless in the moment but to us he is our hero. It could have been extremely worse.”

Ms De Los Rios said her brother was recovering in hospital after sustaining a deep wound to his hand.

In the days following, floral tributes, hand-written notes and teddies have been left at the bottom of Laing Close in Hainault, as well as a painting of Daniel.

Staff and pupils at Bancroft’s, an independent school, said they have been left in “profound shock and sorrow” at his death.

The school was also hit by tragedy last summer after former pupil Grace O’Malley-Kumar was stabbed to death in Nottingham as she tried to save her friend Barnaby Webber from a knife attacker.

A neighbour who witnessed the sword attack on Daniel has told how she tried to warn the teenager but he could not hear her because he was wearing headphones.

Aiste Dabasinskaite, Daniel’s next-door neighbour, said the attacker had initially confronted her on Tuesday morning before attacking the teenager.

She said she and others had tried to shout warnings to Daniel.

She told PA: “The man approached me first and I managed to run away when he drew the sword.

“We were shouting and waving towards Daniel as he came out.

“He had his headphones in so he wouldn’t hear us. It just happened right before our eyes, it was horrible.”