Psychiatric patient had ‘vacant stare’ after pushing commuter onto Tube tracks
The victim was lucky not to have been killed, the Old Bailey heard.
A paranoid schizophrenic who admitted pushing a commuter into the path of an oncoming Tube train said he was “crazy and stupid” shortly after the near-fatal shove.
Alan Alencar was said to have had a wide-eyed expression and a vacant stare as he stood in Bayswater Underground Station moments later, having walked calmly from the platform.
The victim, Alain Lesjongard, lay curled up in the foetal position between the tracks after the train passed over him, and the Old Bailey heard that it was sheer luck that he was not electrocuted or killed.
He was covered in blood and his suit left in shreds as he crawled from under the train on November 2 last year, having been on his way back from a job interview.
Despite the driver applying the brakes, the westbound District Line train travelled three-quarters of the way down the platform during the incident at around 5pm.
It was by “an extraordinary stroke of luck” that he had avoided touching the live rails, Prosecutor Alex Agbamu said, adding that Mr Lesjongard felt lucky to be alive.
Judge Sarah Munro QC: “Miraculously Mr Lesjongard was neither electrocuted nor killed in this incident.”
CCTV footage of the push was played to the court showing Alencar get up from a bench in the station, walk towards Mr Lesjongard, a complete stranger to him, and push him in the back with both hands, before walking away.
The defendant, wearing a light brown jumper over a light blue t-shirt and sporting a head of dark curly hair, continued to stare at the screen from the dock for some time after the footage was paused.
Alencar was calm and compliant when arrested by British Transport Police officers, the court heard, and said: “First time for everything, but I won’t do that again”, as well as: “I was crazy and stupid but I won’t do it again.”
He had come to London on leave from a psychiatric institution in Edinburgh, visiting the capital to see his mother – who the court heard also suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.
He had been on medication and had improved to the point where he was granted unsupervised leave to go to his new flat, but instead travelled to London.
At an earlier hearing, he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder.
Sentencing the 29-year-old at the Old Bailey on Monday Judge Munro said: “You had been living in another world for years and had remained detached from reality.”
She added: “I am quite satisfied that you are suffering from a severe and enduring psychotic illness. The diagnosis is unambiguous”.
Mr Lesjongard, 55, suffered injuries to his left leg, which the prosecution said was “now being held together with screws and plates”, as well as his back and a deep cut on his neck.
He has since had panic attacks and has not been able to bring himself to travel on that stretch of the District Line for the past five months.
The train driver, who has endured flashbacks and nightmares, has not felt able to return to work, the court was told.
Judge Munro – who described the risk posed by Alencar as “very significant” – imposed a section 37 hospital order and an indefinite section 41 restriction order under the Mental Health Act on Alencar, of Northcote Street in Edinburgh.