Birmingham & Black Country

Ward End mosque attacker ruled to be insane

Mohamoud Elmi Image copyright WEST MIDLANDS POLICE
Image caption Mohamoud Elmi is being treated at a secure hospital

A man who stabbed a policeman and worshippers at a mosque was insane at the time of the offences, a jury has ruled.

Mohamoud Elmi stabbed PC Adam Koch and two worshippers in Ward End in Birmingham last June.

PC Koch and the two men, who were stabbed repeatedly, survived.

Elmi, 32, who was tried at Birmingham Crown Court, now faces a potentially indefinite period of detention in a secure hospital.

He is currently being treated at a secure hospital and will be sentenced by Mrs Justice Carr on Wednesday.

Taser discharged

The court heard the defendant, who has paranoid schizophrenia, had declined treatment before the incident in the mosque.

Jurors deliberated for more than two days before returning verdicts that Elmi was not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity.

However, in reaching its decision, the jury ruled he had carried out acts that amounted to attempted murder and wounding.

Elmi's trial was told he had previously been treated for mental health problems but was discharged into the community before the attacks at the mosque.

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Media captionVictim PC Adam Koch survived along with two men who were repeatedly stabbed

The court heard the defendant, of Ward End Hall Grove, Washwood Heath, attacked worshippers on 15 June shortly after threatening two teenagers.

The prosecution said he raised a knife above Tahir Mumtaz, who was in a praying position, and repeatedly stabbed him.

Another man, Zakaria Bhayat, was injured when he tried to restrain Elmi, who then walked "calmly" into a washroom before returning to pray, it was said.

The trial was told PC Koch shouted to Elmi to warn him he had a Taser but Elmi approached him and then stabbed him several times despite the Taser being discharged.

Elmi was overpowered by other worshippers and a second PC who intervened, the prosecution said.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Elmi stabbed PC Adam Koch despite a Taser being discharged

After the verdicts were returned on two counts of attempted murder and one of wounding, Birmingham and Solihull Mental NHS Foundation Trust confirmed an inquiry had been held into the care received by Elmi, who was discharged eight months before the stabbings.

The trust said its review highlighted "a number of lessons" for itself but said they had been acted upon.

Issues highlighted by the review included the need for greater involvement and input from families and GPs before and after patients are discharged.

Other areas of learning identified in the review centred on better record-keeping, particularly when patients were transferred from in-patient to community teams.

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