Life sentence for knife attack on London Underground | London

A man has been jailed for life after stabbing a random passenger on a London Underground train.

Panicked passengers fled inside two carriages when Ricky Morgan launched an unprovoked attack on James Porritt on the Jubilee line between Green Park and Bond Street last July.

Morgan, 35, was heard saying: “This is not a terrorist attack. He’s the only one I want.”

Porritt, who had gone to meet his girlfriend’s father, had told jurors it was like a “horror movie” or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sci-fi film The Terminator. The incident, which was captured on CCTV, lasted for 20 minutes before Morgan was confronted by police and dropped the knife.

Porritt suffered a serious injury to his right arm as well as bone-deep cuts to his head and shin and was treated by an off-duty doctor.

Morgan denied attempted murder by reason of insanity but was found guilty by a jury at the Old Bailey in May. He was also convicted of possessing a knife and a knife.

On Monday, Judge John Hillen sentenced Morgan to life in prison with a minimum of 16 years in prison.

The judge said: “In the early evening of 9 July 2021, in a crowded London Underground carriage, you attempted to kill James Porritt, a man you do not know, by repeatedly stabbing him with the knife you were carrying to use if the occasion arose.

“Having watched the ferocity of your attack captured on CCTV images many times during the trial, James Porritt is very lucky to have survived.

“What happened will haunt him for the rest of his life. He thought he was going to die and never expected to escape that attack alive.

“Many if not most of the people in the carriage, fearing that you were going to cut people down indiscriminately – and at least some of them fearing that it was a terrorist attack – got up and started screaming and frantically trying to get away.

James Porritt
James Porritt, in a photo taken before the attack. Photo: Family Leaflet/PA

“It was a miracle no one else was hurt. I think it’s not too dramatic or overdramatic to say that it was every traveler’s nightmare.”

Hillen praised two members of the public for awards who tried to calm Morgan down before armed police arrived.

Earlier, Porritt became emotional as he described the devastating impact of the “horrific and unjust” attack.

Speaking to the court, he said: “It took less than 20 seconds on Friday 9 July 2021 for my entire world to be irrevocably and irreversibly destroyed and altered.

“They caught me completely off guard and I’m unaware. I had no idea what weapon Ricky Morgan was using to attack me.

“It was only after he continued to rain me down with merciless and persistent blows that I realized he had used a sharp object to cut my right dominant hand into several pieces.”

She recalled letting out a “shrill scream” and pleading with Morgan to stop, only for the intruder to continue “hacking”.

The victim described the “sheer terror” of being chased by Morgan, adding: “I honestly thought he was going to kill me. He left me dead.”

Despite attending the trial, Porritt said he still had unanswered questions and was left insecure. As a result of his injuries, he can no longer sign his name or play sports he used to enjoy.

“Isn’t this fair? I don’t deserve this,” she said. “This shouldn’t have happened to me.”

Porritt said there has been a negative effect on his family and his partner, saying: “It breaks my heart that we can’t hold hands like we used to.”

Addressing Morgan in the dock, Porritt said no sentence would bring back the life the defendant took: “I hope you understand that, I really do. How does one begin to come to terms with such a horrific and unjust attack?’

Porritt was given a letter from the accused to read, but said it “changed nothing”, adding: “My only hope and wish is that no one else ever has to go through what I went through.”

The court heard Morgan had a history of low-level violence dating back to the age of 13. He had 26 previous convictions for 58 offences, including discharging a sawn-off shotgun into a private home.

In mitigation, Warwick Aleeson acknowledged Porritt’s “deeply moving” statement and said the offenses were likely to have arisen as a result of Morgan’s “deep and severe undiagnosed schizophrenia”.

Regarding Morgan’s willingness to seek treatment, the lawyer said: “Ricky Morgan does not wish to be the terrified, delusional creature who lives in a room he has shut off from the outside world, believing that his attackers are going to kill him.”

Morgan was born in Newham, east London, had a troubled upbringing and became homeless after being released from prison in 2020.

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