Russell Square stabbings: Zakaria Bulhan admits killing US tourist

Zakaria BulhanZakaria Bulhan admitted the charges on the first day of his trial

A knife attacker has admitted killing a US tourist and wounding five others in a rampage in central London.

Zakaria Bulhan, from Tooting, south-west London, carried out the attack in Russell Square on 3 August last year.

Retired teacher Darlene Horton, 64, was visiting the city with her husband when she was killed.

Bulhan, 19, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and charges of wounding.

He had been charged with murder and attempted murder, but the court accepted his plea.

The court heard he was suffering an “acute” episode of paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the attacks.

Darlene HortonDarlene Horton was visiting London with her husband, Richard Wagner, a university professor from Florida

Mother-of-two Ms Horton was due to return home to Tallahassee the day after the attack.

The knife penetrated her left lung and heart when she was stabbed in the back. She died at the scene.

Lillie Selletin, David Imber, Martin Hoenisch, Bernard Hepplewhite and Yovel Lewronski were all injured in the rampage.

The court heard they have all made good recoveries from their injuries.

‘Unreal experience’

Mr Hoenisch, a retired fireman from Las Vegas, was visiting London with his wife Laurie Kelly when he was injured in the attack.

He said on Facebook it was a “very unreal experience” and he was “still very saddened about the woman who was killed”.

Ms Lewronski, 18, was visiting London from Tel Aviv when she was stabbed in the upper arm.

She wrote on the social media site that she did not know whether to call it “luck or fate” that she escaped death.

Emergency services at the sceneEmergency services were pictured at the scene in the aftermath of the attack

The Old Bailey was told Bulhan was seen “moving in an erratic fashion” in Russell Square.

“Without warning or provocation, the man stabbed six people in relatively quick succession, saying nothing to any of them, moving on after each stabbing towards his next victim,” said prosecutor Mark Heywood QC.

‘Definitely me’

Bulhan screamed and ran away when police ordered him to stand still and drop the knife. He fell to the floor when officers then Tasered him.

The Met Police said when Bulhan was interviewed, he refused to take part in an identification parade but said: “It was definitely me.”

Mr Heywood QC said the case had been considered “at the highest level” before it was decided to accept his pleas.

Mr Justice Spencer ordered the attempted murder charges to lie on file.

The court heard that months before the killing Bulhan had dropped out of college because of his mental state.

In March last year he had been referred for treatment for his mental health and his behaviour deteriorated leading up to the August attack.

Sentencing has begun and will continue on Tuesday.

Map of scene of attack
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