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Regent’s Park mosque knifeman ‘smiled’ when he saw the injuries of the 70-year-old prayer leader he stabbed

PUBLISHED: 12:11 12 October 2020 | UPDATED: 18:15 12 October 2020

Daniel Horton, who has admitted stabbing a prayer leader at Regent's Park Mosque. Picture: Met Police

Daniel Horton, who has admitted stabbing a prayer leader at Regent's Park Mosque. Picture: Met Police

Archant

A 30-year-old man has admitted stabbing a prayer leader in the neck at the London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park.

The bloodied knife used by Daniel Horton to stab muezzin Raafat Maglad. Picture: Met PoliceThe bloodied knife used by Daniel Horton to stab muezzin Raafat Maglad. Picture: Met Police

Daniel Horton, 30, of no fixed address, attacked Raafat Maglad, 70, during afternoon prayers on February 20.

On October 12, Horton, who had converted to Islam and had been attending the mosque for “a few years”, entered a guilty plea to charges of wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon at Southwark Crown Court.

No motive has been established for the stabbing, which saw the mosque sealed off and security beefed up.

READ MORE: Prayer leader returns to Regent’s Park mosque days after stabbing

The Met said the victim has “felt a sharp smack to the right side of his neck” when he was stabbed.

Police outside of the London Central Mosque in Regent's Park after Raafat Maglad was attacked by Daniel Horton. Picture: PAPolice outside of the London Central Mosque in Regent's Park after Raafat Maglad was attacked by Daniel Horton. Picture: PA

Scotland Yard said that when arrested, Horton told them: “This is not a religious attack and is not a racist attack.

“I don’t need a solicitor, I’m going to admit it.”

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He later told a custody sergeant: “I had no intention of killing him. By the way I was standing I could easily have killed him, but I had no intention of that. This was to send a message to him and the others associated with him.”

Prayer leader Raafat Maglad returned to Regent's Park Mosque just days after he was attacked there. Picture: PAPrayer leader Raafat Maglad returned to Regent's Park Mosque just days after he was attacked there. Picture: PA

Det Const Daniel Jones, the investigating officer, said: “This was a shocking and brutal unprovoked attack in a place of worship where the victim should’ve been safe. Horton had the audacity to smile when he was shown images of his victim’s injuries, not showing any remorse for his heinous actions. I’m therefore pleased that Horton has pleaded guilty and finally taken responsibility for his wicked actions.”

Det Const Jones also paid tribute to the members of the public who detained the attacker in the aftermath of the stabbing.

The Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) Jonathan Efemini said: “This was an unprovoked attack on a 70-year-old Muezzin praying at a mosque.

“Horton launched this targeted attack on Mr Maglad, who was defenceless in the midst of prayer.

Police stand watch outside of the London Central Mosque in Regent's Park in February. Picture: PAPolice stand watch outside of the London Central Mosque in Regent's Park in February. Picture: PA

“Mr Maglad has been attending Regent’s Park Mosque for 25 years as the Muezzin who would make the call for prayer five times a day. This should have been a safe and sacred space for him to worship in peace.”

Father-of-three Mr Maglad has since made a full recovery. He returned to the mosque just 24 hours to lead prayers as normal.

Horton will be sentenced on November 16 at Southwark Crown Court.


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