Man pleads guilty to Manchester Victoria knife attack

A man who launched a frenzied knife attack on police and commuters at Manchester Victoria train station last New Year's Eve has pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder.

Mahdi Mohamud shouted "Allahu Akbar" and "long live the caliphate" as he stabbed and slashed at a couple in their 50s who were walking to a tram platform.

James Knox suffered 13 injuries, including a fractured skull, after being knifed in the back, shoulders and head with a fillet knife.

Image: The attacked couple are cared for by police and fellow commuters. Pic: @Clack_Sam

Mohamud then turned on Mr Knox's partner Anna Charlton, who suffered a slash to her forehead that cut down to the bone, and had her right lung punctured.

British Transport Police officers heard a blood-curdling scream and dashed to the scene.


PC Ashleigh Williams and her colleague PC Marsha Selby, along with two tram staff, confronted Mohamud, who "like an animal" was "fixated" on stabbing and slashing, witnesses said.

The 26-year-old was pepper sprayed before PC Tom Wright arrived with Sergeant Lee Valentine seconds later, who shot Mohamud with a Taser.

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But the barbs of the 50,000 volt shock gun got stuck in the knifeman's thick coat and failed to paralyse him.

Before the sergeant could reload, Mohamud ran along the blood-spattered platform charging at the officers with his knife.

Police restrained Mohamud after the attack. Pic: Sam Clack
Image: Mohamud attacked an officer after being tasered. Pic: @Clack_Sam

Sgt Valentine was stabbed in the shoulder before Mohamud was wrestled to the ground and arrested.

A second kitchen knife was found in his waistband.

Describing the attacker, Sgt Valentine said: "The look on his face, not even that of like a madman, just somebody who was just like intent on…he just wasn't there.

"It was just like an animal."

The defendant, a Dutch national from a Somali family who moved to the UK aged nine, was later found to be in possession of a terror publication titled "the seven most lethal ways to strike with a knife".

An officer holds a knife seized at the scene of the attack.
Image: An officer holds a knife seized at the scene of the attack.

It is understood Mohamud – an unemployed former university engineering student – had become radicalised online.

Detained under the Mental Health Act the day after the attack, he was later found fit to stand trial.

On Tuesday, Mohamud pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to three counts of attempted murder.

He also admitted one count of the possession of a document or record likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

The court heard Mohamud had left the home he shared with his parents and brothers in Cheetham Hill, Manchester at around 8pm on 31 December.

The stabbing happened at Manchester Victoria station
Image: The knife attack happened at Manchester Victoria station Read More – Source