The terrorist who stabbed commuters and police in a “frenzied” knife attack has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 11 years.
Mahdi Mohamud used a fillet knife against three victims at Manchester Victoria station last New Year’s Eve while screaming “Allahu Akbar!” and “Long live the Caliphate”.
The 26-year-old, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, will begin his sentence in a high-security psychiatric hospital.
Mohamud stabbed 54-year-old James Knox repeatedly in the back, shoulders and head before turning on the victim’s companion Anne Charlton, 57, and slashing her across the face.
Sergeant Lee Valentine, 31, was also stabbed in the shoulder as Mohamud was confronted and arrested by British Transport Police.
The defendant pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder and one of possessing a document or record likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
The document in question was a manual entitled, “the seven most lethal ways to strike with a knife”.
The court heard the Dutch national from a Somali family, who has lived in the UK since he was nine, gained a first-class degree in mechanical engineering from Leeds University in 2016.
But a drug induced psychosis in 2015 had caused his mental health to deteriorate. He was sectioned and spent time in mental hospitals in the UK and Somalia.
Rebecca Trowler QC, mitigating, told the court the defendant’s mental illness acted as the “driver” for the attack.
However, prosecutor Alison Morgan QC argued that the attack was “not simply a product of that mental illness” given the months of planning, his extremist ideology and desire to perform “jihad”.
Sentencing Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said that while Mohamud’s mental state “made a significant contribution”, the defendant retains “substantial responsibility and culpability” for his actions.
The “Hybrid Order” means that Mohamud will remain in a hospital until his mental state has recovered sufficiently for him to be transferred to prison to complete the rest of his sentence.
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