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Rampaging knifeman locked up indefinitely

PUBLISHED: 10:21 18 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:57 07 September 2010

A SCHIZOPHRENIC who stabbed a 12-year-old schoolgirl in Edgware Road and two other strangers hours after arriving in Britain has been detained indefinitely. Social services were due to section Mahabubur Rahman under the Mental Health Act

Susanna Wilkey

A SCHIZOPHRENIC who stabbed a 12-year-old schoolgirl in Edgware Road and two other strangers hours after arriving in Britain has been detained indefinitely.

Social services were due to section Mahabubur Rahman under the Mental Health Act as soon as he landed at Heathrow Airport but he managed to give them the slip.

He arrived from Bangladesh on June 4 last year but was on a different flight from the one mental health workers expected.

After leaving Heathrow, he went on a three-hour rampage through the streets of London - stabbing a wheelchair-bound French tourist, an Italian nurse and a German schoolgirl.

Rahman was detained indefinitely on Monday under the Mental Health Act after pleading guilty to three counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at the Old Bailey.

He had travelled to Bangladesh to visit family last summer where he stopped taking medication for paranoid schizophrenia and his behaviour became increasingly bizarre.

When he vanished on June 3, his family feared he was returning to Britain and contacted Camden and Islington social services.

After returning home to get a knife, Rahman attacked his first victim, Antonin Giraud, a few streets away from his Camden home.

Prosecutor Ken Nelson said: "Mr Giraud was phoning his girlfriend in France from a telephone box in Argyle Square. He was in a wheelchair - his left leg in plaster.

"After the phone call, he wheeled himself towards the gardens of the square and passed Rahman who came behind him and put his arms around the victim's shoulders.

The court heard how Rahman pushed Mr Giraud out of his wheelchair and then attacked him with the knife - slashing his back and shoulders and leaving him with a 15cm wound.

He ran off when two passers-by intervened. But two and a half hours later, he struck again in Edgware Road.

The schoolgirl was walking back to her hotel with her parents when Rahman grabbed her by the right side of her head.

He pulled her head to one side and stabbed her in the side of her neck, the court heard.

"He then turned and watched before calmly walking away," Mr Nelson said.

The youngster was rushed to nearby St Mary's Hospital in Paddington.

She suffered a deep wound which severed major nerves.

The rampage continued half an hour later when Rahman spotted Italian nurse Luca Zampedri in nearby Gower Street.

Rahman leapt on Mr Zampedri slashing him to the face and neck. The horrified man was left with a 10cm gash to his face and 7cm slash wound to his neck.

Police soon realised Rahman could be responsible and he was picked up trying to break into his sister's home in Camden where he threatened officers with a knife, the Old Bailey heard.

Dr Simon Williams, who is responsible for Rahman's care at Chase Farm medium secure hospital in Barnet, told the court he presented a danger to others.

Judge Richard Hone sectioned him under Section 37 of the act and ordered that he must not be released before attending a Mental Health Tribunal.

He said: "For no apparent reason, you attacked three individuals and slashed each of them with a knife causing serious injury to parts of their body, namely their face and neck.

"You are a danger when you disengage from your medication."

Rahman, from Swinton Street, St Pancras, pleaded guilty to three counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and one count of affray.

Three charges of attempted murder, which he denied, were ordered to remain on the court file.

susanna.wilkey@hamhigh.co.uk

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