NEWS
21/08/2017 16:34 BST | Updated 22/08/2017 01:41 BST

Muslim Victim 'Too Afraid To Leave House' After Knife Attack On Train

A Muslim man stabbed repeatedly on a train by a schizophrenic attacker has described how he was too afraid to leave his house following the assault.

Adrian Brown, 38, set upon Muhammed Ali on the London Overground on December 12 last year, knifing him six times, after shouting: "I want to kill the Muslims", his trial was told.

Southwark Crown Court heard Brown had been suffering a psychotic episode and believed that by stabbing the victim he would "save humanity" and exorcise a Muslim demon haunting him.

He accepted carrying out the attack but pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder on the grounds of insanity.

The victim had been travelling back from a trip to the mosque and the shops with his wife when the assault took place, between Honor Oak Park and Forest Hill, south London.

In a statement read to the court by prosecutor Alan Kent QC, Mr Ali said the couple became aware around 20 minutes into their journey that someone was yelling.

It said: "Approximately five to 10 seconds later I could hear the words being shouted, the same words were being shouted – 'looking for Muslims' and 'kill Muslims'.

"When I first saw the male he was approximately five to six feet from me, all the time he was shouting the same thing: 'I want to kill the Muslims'. My wife leaned into me because she was scared.

"He stopped and turned back. He pointed his finger at me and asked: 'Are you Muslim?' Before I could answer he raised his arm above his head and brought the knife down towards me at least twice.

"I was aware there was blood. I tried to protect my wife from him, saying: 'Go back, don't go forward, he may hit you.'

"He moved towards me and started stabbing me. I don't remember anything about the attack.

"I had a lot of blood coming from my body and my head was bleeding heavily, I was struggling to breathe or talk."

The intervention of fellow passengers, including an off-duty police officer, a doctor and a nurse, was credited in court for saving Mr Ali's life.

Witnesses described to the jury how the victim was stabbed in a frenzy, leaving some certain he would die.

Mr Ali suffered injuries to his head and torso, as well as a punctured lung.

His statement continued: "I have not left the house since this happened. I struggle to sleep at the time because every time I shut my eyes I have flashbacks to the whole thing.

"I can only assume it was me because my wife was wearing a headscarf.

"I am so shocked and scared about what took place and I am nervous about leaving the house and travelling on the train again."

Jurors at the trial of issues 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 Filipe Dias, who worked at the hostel where he was living, during an earlier incident, both of which are denied on the grounds of insanity.

When on board the train 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.

Mr Kent said of the attack on Mr Ali: "He called him a 'f***ing Muslim' before attacking him with a knife, stabbing him repeatedly and repeatedly shouting 'f***ing Muslims' as he did so."

Off-duty police constable David Pearson rushed down the carriage and faced down the defendant despite being unarmed, allowing others to escape.

He told the court: "I said: 'Put the knife down', and he said: 'No, you are OK, you are a Christian.'"

Over the phone, the officer gave a detailed description of Brown as he left Forest Hill station, while warning others not to approach.

On returning to the carriage, he found a badly wounded Mr Ali.

"The victim was sat on the chair and the first thing I thought was: 'He is a dead man,'" Mr Pearson said.

Brown, of Brockley Rise, south-east London, appeared via video link from Broadmoor hospital during the hearing, wearing a brown tracksuit.

Psychiatrist Philip Joseph was one of those to assess the defendant and found him in the grips of paranoid schizophrenia.

"He said he had to stab the man to stop himself hearing voices and to complete his mission to save humanity," Dr Joseph told the court.

Brown told the mental health professional that he was being picked on by a male Muslim demon in his head and at one stage claimed he was Lucifer.

"He said: 'I couldn't take it any more, and I said tomorrow I am going to stab a Muslim man because I want to stop them picking on me, if I didn't do it they would not stop, they would never stop.'"

The trial continues.