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Loner jailed for 20 years for supermarket car park stabbing spree

Published 04/11/2016

Victims Janet Morsy and Charandasi Chandiramani outside Kingston Crown Court
Victims Janet Morsy and Charandasi Chandiramani outside Kingston Crown Court

A loner with a personality disorder has been jailed for 20 years for a vicious stabbing spree outside a supermarket in which four women were seriously injured.

Ethem Orhon, 67, said the random attacks on May 20 had been triggered after he had felt humiliated by police who had arrested him the previous day for possession of another knife.

He said he was "like a zombie" and felt as though he was "hypnotised" as he prowled silently around the car park at Sainsbury's in Hampton, west London, armed with a Leatherman knife.

Orhon, of Deacons Walk, Hampton, remained emotionless as he was given two 20-year sentences for two counts of attempted murder and two nine-year sentences for two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. All sentences are to be served concurrently.

A jury at Kingston Crown Court took four hours and 55 minutes to find him guilty of all charges.

Judge Paul Dodgson told Orhon: "This was a planned attempt to kill albeit while the balance of your mind was disturbed. You took that knife intending to use it, intending to kill people."

The judge said he clearly has "an unusual personality", adding: "You are on your own and as a loner it may be you are someone who tends to brood on matters."

Two of his victims broke down in tears as the verdicts were read out.

Orhon had told the court he remembered assaulting one person and following two men.

These turned out to be schoolboys from Hampton Grammar, who warned other innocent passers-by that Orhon was armed and dangerous, distracted him and called 999.

Orhon said he had "no memory" of going to the car park or of the stabbings.

This is in contrast to footage from his police interviews, shown in court, where he said he had "rushed" at someone in the car park and he remembered "stabbing someone in the back".

Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph said Orhon, who had no previous contact with the medical services, is suffering from paranoid psychosis, which may put a person out of touch with reality.

Victims Suzanna Brand, 53, Janet Morsy, 63, Jean Sullivan, 68, and Charandasi Chandiramani, 71, suffered serious injuries.

Miss Brand, who has learning difficulties, was hit from behind, struck 13 times and left with two collapsed lungs.

A screaming Ms Morsy thought she was going to die as she was struck in the arm and chest and tried to defend herself. She begged not to be hurt but she was stabbed anyway.

Ms Sullivan was stabbed in the back, causing damage to her chest wall, right lung and liver.

Ms Chandiramani was stabbed twice in the back.

Earlier that day, Orhon had left central London's Belgravia police station, where he was charged with having a bladed article in a public place.

He had been picked up by officers who thought he might have drugs.

After being released on bail, he went home, picked up his spare Leatherman knife and immediately went out on his stabbing spree.

Police arrived at the scene and pointed a Taser at Orhon.

Victim impact statements read in court described how being attacked had shattered independent, happy and confident lives.

Several said they were now receiving counselling, taking sleeping tablets, and had become more reclusive and anxious.

Ms Chandiramani, who now suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), remembered hearing a "terrified scream" and turning round to "lock eyes" with Orhon.

Her statement said: "The look in his eyes was evil. I continue to see the madness in his eyes at night.

"The mental aspect has a profound effect on my life. Today, I am a different person - my world has become smaller."

Ms Morsy's statement read: "My life is completely changed.

"I really thought I was going to die. I begged the man to not do it but he just looked at me and lunged...

"I will never forget that day for the rest of my life."

Speaking outside court, Ms Chandiramani told the Press Association: "This is like closure for me, really, I'm relieved.

"Hopefully now I can get off the sleeping tablets - I don't want to be addicted to anything - and get back to my old life."

Also speaking outside court, Ms Morsy said: "The sentence needs to be this tough because so many people carry knives now.

"When I see someone with hands in their pockets I fully expect them to pull a blade. I'm focusing now on my children and grandchildren, I feel like I've put them on the back seat."

Asked about the good chance that Orhon would die in prison, she said: "He should have thought of hat before he pulled out his Leatherman."

The judge said the schoolboys' actions "certainly averted a greater disaster" and he wanted to make sure they knew "just how highly regarded" they are.

He awarded them £1,000 each to recognise their "bravery" and gave them the thanks of the "community as a whole".

Press Association

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