Manchester

Man guilty of 'ruthless' stabbing and ordered to remain in hospital

CCTV of the attack (blurred) Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption The attack in the Levenshulme area of Manchester was captured in CCTV

A man who stabbed a stranger six times in the neck in a street attack has been ordered to remain indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital by a judge.

Alex Davies, 26, stabbed Jaroslaw Poterucha in the Levenshulme area of Manchester, in 2016.

His lawyers argued he was hearing voices and believed he was stabbing an alien, but a jury convicted Davies of attempted murder.

Judge David Stockdale QC said the attack was "ruthless" and "cowardly".

The judge sentenced Davies, a Muslim convert also known as Ahmad Ibn Abdillaah, to remain in hospital for an indefinite period for public protection.

Mr Poterucha suffered a fracture to his vertebra, a vocal nerve injury and permanent nerve damage in the attack.

When Davies was charged, he claimed the attack had been "a case of mistaken identity".

Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption Victim Jaroslaw Poterucha was saved by the timely intervention of a passer-by

He accepted he stabbed Mr Poterucha but pleaded not guilty to attempted murder by reason of insanity.

Psychiatric experts from both the prosecution and defence agreed Davies had paranoid schizophrenia.

But Carey Johnston QC, prosecuting, said there were aggravating factors, including Davies' initial explanation when charged, and the fact he had stopped using his mobile phone soon after the attack, and disposed of its sim card.

The jury at Manchester Crown Court was also told Davies wrote in a letter to his mother: "I went to Manchester and stabbed a man so I could establish myself as a fighter."

The court heard he fled the scene and was later witnessed at RAF Northolt military base in Ruislip, west London, wearing full Islamic dress and chanting.

Davies was taken to a police station where he was searched but nothing was found and he was allowed to leave.

The following month he threatened two men in a takeaway pizza shop with a large kitchen knife and said to them "can I kill you now?" and "you are not Muslims".

He was arrested and later attacked two prison officers while on remand.

During one attack he brandished a wooden stake with three razor blades embedded on its side and said: "Allahu Akbar, God is great."

Davies, formerly of Longsight in Manchester, must now remain at Ashworth high-security psychiatric hospital in Merseyside, following the judge's ruling.

He was being treated there after being transferred from jail, where he was already serving a 10-and-a-half-year sentence for the prison attack.

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