Former Leeds student who launched New Year's Eve frenzied knife attack on commuters ordered to serve life sentence in psychiatric hospital

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A former Leeds university student who launched a frenzied knife attack on commuters and police at Manchester Victoria railway station last New Year's Eve has been ordered to serve a life sentence in a high security psychiatric hospital.

Mahid Mohamud, 26, has today been sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to life with a minimum term of 11 years after admitting three counts of attempted murder and a terror offence following the knife attack.

The wounded being treated following a knife attack at Manchester Victoria railway station. Mahdi Mohamud, 26, has pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to a terrorism offence and three counts of attempted murder after the knife attack last New Year's Eve.

The wounded being treated following a knife attack at Manchester Victoria railway station. Mahdi Mohamud, 26, has pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to a terrorism offence and three counts of attempted murder after the knife attack last New Year's Eve.

The court previously heard how Mohamud raised the fillet knife and walked up behind unsuspecting James Knox, screaming "Allahu Akbar!" and "Long live the Caliphate!" as he stabbed his victim repeatedly in the back, shoulders and head.

He then turned the knife on Mr Knox's companion, Anna Charlton, 57, slashing her across the face after the couple randomly crossed his path heading for a tram home shortly before 9pm last December 31.

Sgt Lee Valentine, 31, was also stabbed in the shoulder as the defendant was confronted and arrested by British Transport Police (BTP).

Mohamud, diagnosed as suffering paranoid schizophrenia had a manual titled, "the seven most lethal ways to strike with a knife".

Police restraining a man after he stabbed three people at Victoria Station in Manchester. Mahdi Mohamud, 26, has pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to a terrorism offence and three counts of attempted murder after the knife attack last New Year's Eve

Police restraining a man after he stabbed three people at Victoria Station in Manchester. Mahdi Mohamud, 26, has pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to a terrorism offence and three counts of attempted murder after the knife attack last New Year's Eve

Alison Morgan QC, prosecuting, argued though Mohamud was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and this may have "disinhibited" his behaviour, the attack was "not simply a product of that mental illness" given the months of planning, his extremist ideology and desire to perform "jihad."

Read more: Former Leeds university student pleads guilty to attempted murder and terror charges over Manchester Victoria New Year's Eve stabbings
The court heard the defendant, a Dutch national from a Somali family who has lived in the UK since the age of nine, gained a first-class degree in mechanical engineering from Leeds University in 2016.

But after gaining a placement with Rolls Royce in 2015 he suffered a drug induced psychosis and his mental health deteriorated with him being sectioned and spending time in mental hospitals in the UK and Somalia.

Rebecca Trowler QC, mitigating, told the court the defendant's mental illness acted as the "driver" for the attack.

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith sentenced Mohamud to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 11 years.

The 'Hybrid Order' means the defendant will remain in a hospital until until his mental state has recovered sufficiently for him to be transferred to prison to complete the rest of his sentence.

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said: "In general terms your mental illness did not cause you to be unable to distinguish between right and wrong.

"For these main reasons I conclude that, though your mental illness made a significant contribution, probably by exacerbating the seeds of Islamic radicalisation and by a disinhibiting effect, you retain substantial responsibility and culpability for your acts."