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Manchester Knife Attacker Jailed For Life

A man who tried to kill three people, including a police officer, in a frenzied knife attack at a railway station has been detained for life.

Mahdi MohamudMahdi Mohamud, 26, stabbed a couple and then attacked Sgt Lee Valentine at Manchester Victoria on New Year’s Eve. He was told he would serve a minimum of 11 years after admitting three counts of attempted murder and a terror offence at Manchester Crown Court.

Mohamud will initially held in a high security psychiatric hospital.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith told Mohamud he had “walked calmly and purposefully to Manchester Victoria station” where he spotted the couple. “You followed them took out one of your knives and attacked them. You attacked them intending to kill them,” the judge said.

The court previously heard Mohamud stabbed the man repeatedly in the back, shoulders and head and slashed his partner across the face before attacking Sgt Valentine, a British Transport Police officer who was trying to apprehend him.

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith acknowledged Mohamud suffered from paranoid schizophrenia which led him to believe the government was controlling his body using ultra-high frequency waves. But he said although mental illness was a significant contribution to his interest in jihad, Mohamud retained substantial responsibility and culpability for these attacks.

Mohamud will be detained in Ashworth Secure Hospital and transferred to prison to serve rest of sentence when he is deemed well enough.

In a letter to the judge, Mohamud’s father said the family had prayed for the victims since the “horrific” attack and said he was eternally grateful for the swift response from emergency services. He said the family was so “shocked” and “deeply saddened” knowing what his son had done but believed “if it wasn’t for Madhi’s mental health illness he would not have done those awful acts”.