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Teenager accused of fatal stabbing spree in Russell Square remanded in custody

Published 06/08/2016

Floral tributes resting against railings near the scene of the fatal stabbing in Russell Square
Floral tributes resting against railings near the scene of the fatal stabbing in Russell Square

A teenager charged with carrying out a knife attack in London which left an American tourist dead and five people injured has been remanded in custody after appearing in court today.

Zakaria Bulhan, 19, is accused of murdering retired teacher Darlene Horton, 64, at Russell Square on Wednesday evening.

Ms Horton, the wife of a university professor from Florida, was just hours away from flying home when she was killed.

The mother-of-two was visiting London with husband Richard Wagner, who was teaching summer classes. The couple had planned to return to their home in Tallahassee on Thursday, Florida State University said.

Bulhan is also charged with the attempted murder of Martin Hoenisch, Lillie Selletin, David Imber, Bernard Hepplewhite and Yovel Lewronski, who were all injured in the same attack.

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: "Thanks to everyone for reaching out, we're still very saddened about the woman who was killed.

"Very unreal experience but we are still having an unbelievable time over here. Thanks and love to you all."

Ms Lewronski, 18, who is called Yovel Lewkowski on her Facebook profile, was visiting London from Tel Aviv. She was stabbed in the upper arm.

She said she did not know whether to call it "luck or fate" that she escaped death, adding that she had watched as Ms Horton "perished in front of my eyes".

Ms Selletin, an Australian national, was also injured in the attack along with Mr Imber and Mr Hepplewhite.

One of the victims was a British man who suffered a stab wound to his stomach. He remains in hospital in a "serious but stable" condition.

Bulhan, a Norwegian national of Somali origin who moved to the UK in 2002 and lives in Tooting, south London, appeared before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

He stood in the dock wearing a light grey tracksuit and carrying a handful of paperwork.

The teenager mumbled his name, address and date of birth to the court with his hand over his mouth.

Bulhan was unrepresented in court and sat hunched throughout the short hearing with his hand over his mouth.

He held his face in his hand as the names of the victims were read to him in court. When asked if he understood the charges, he nodded and gave the judge a thumbs-up gesture.

Bulhan was remanded in custody and ordered to appear at the Old Bailey on August 9.

He was led out of the dock by a custody officer following his appearance.

A spokesman for the Australian foreign office said: "The department of foreign affairs and trade has been providing consular assistance to three Australians caught up in a stabbing attack in Russell Square, London.

"A 40-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman both sustained non-life threatening injuries and have been discharged from hospital.

"Another Australian woman was at the scene of the attack, but was not injured. The Australians concerned have requested that their privacy be respected."

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From Belfast Telegraph