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A tube commuter was said to have let out an ‘unholy scream’ as a man hacked his head with a machete exposing his skull, a court heard today.
Ricky Morgan, 34, allegedly slashed James Porritt, in his 30s, on the Jubilee Line between Green Park and Bond Street on 9 July last year.
Jurors heard Morgan swung a machete and cut Mr Porritt on the head, the right hand and the shin, exposing his skull, shin bone and severing his hand into ‘pieces’.
Panicked passengers then clambered on top of each in desperate bid to escape, the Old Bailey also heard.
Mr Morgan, of no fixed address, denies attempted murder and possessing a machete and lock knife at Green Park on July 9 last year.
Ricky Morgan, 34, allegedly slashed James Porritt, in his 30s, on the Jubilee Line between Green Park and Bond Street on 9 July last year. Pictured: Police at the time
Mr Morgan, of no fixed address, denies attempted murder and possessing a machete and lock knife at Green Park on July 9 last year. Pictured: Police at the time
Mr Porritt, who was taken to a local hospital after the incident, told the Old Bailey: ‘I must have left the gym just after 6pm and I was on my way to meet my girlfriend because my girlfriend invited me to her dad’s birthday.’
He was travelling from Tower Hill to Liverpool Street and had to change his route last minute due to underground delays.
‘That, members of the jury, was unfortunately a big mistake for James Porritt,’ said Grace Ong, prosecuting.
He got onto the Jubilee Line at Westminster station and was joined in the same carriage by Mr Morgan at Green Park.
Ms Ong said: ‘On that Jubilee Line at about 6:30/6:45 in the evening when James Porritt was looking at his mobile telephone and a bit nervous about meeting his girlfriend’s dad for the first time, Ricky Morgan got up from his seat on that carriage and attacked James Porritt with that machete.
‘The attack nearly severed one of the fingers on one of his hands and it means that James Porritt will never be able to use his right hand properly again.
‘He also suffered very serious injuries, a laceration, a cut to his head that went all the way down to his skull but didn’t fracture the skull.
‘And he suffered another knife wound from that machete a cut to his shin that went all the way down to his shin bone and fractured his shin bone.’
The two were ‘complete strangers’, the court heard.
She added: ‘This was, the prosecution say, a completely unprovoked attack upon a commuter on the Jubilee Line going about his daily business.’
The court was told the defendant denied responsibility for the attack by reason of insanity. Pictured: Armed police in Bond Street
Mr Porritt said he was looking at his phone when he suddenly heard screaming and felt someone hitting him over the head with an object.
‘He put up a hand to his head to protect himself and his hand was hit as well,’ Ms Ong said. ‘He showed the police his right hand which was in pieces.
‘He could see through to the white bone of his fingers. Blood was coming from his head, his hand and his elbow. At one point Mr Porritt lifted his leg to protect himself further and this was struck as well.
‘Almost impossibly, he managed to finally get away from his attacker holding the separated parts of his hand together.
‘He managed to get through a carriage door and it was closed by one of the other passengers.
‘His attacker appeared to be fixated on Mr Porritt because Mr Porritt heard him shout, “I don’t want anyone else I just want you”.’
Jurors listened to Mr Porritt giving evidence in a recorded police interview, sporting a white bandage on his head and a right hand branded with dark lines of stitches.
Just before he suffered the first blow, Mr Porritt was ‘confused’ as to why people in the carriage were screaming, the court heard.
He said ‘I pleaded with him to stop, but he didn’t, he just continued to strike me.
‘At this point I was in shock because I realised that my right hand was in separate pieces.’
Mr Porritt continued: ‘He just went smash smash smash on my shin. He was relentless. I was in shock because it was like a horror movie.
‘I genuinely thought this person was going to kill me. When he hit me…I didn’t feel anything. It doesn’t make sense.’
The self-employed businessman went on to say that the attack was ‘surreal’.
A map showing the distance between Bond Street and Green Park Tube Stations in London
He added: ‘He was just like a machine. Just like, what is that movie? Basically like Terminator, that is exactly what it was like.
‘He was emotionless, he didn’t seem to have any kind of, no compassion. But he seemed very focused and relentless and he was just hell bent on doing what he was doing.’
Recalling the chaos of the tube, Mr Porritt described the scene as one of ‘pure terror’. It was like a horror movie. It was like a stampede. People were terrified.’
He went on to describe how he ‘ran for his life’ and managed to get to the next carriage.
He added: ‘Someone tried to lock the door to shut him out but he opened his one and the window was open and he was brandishing the knife through the open window.’
Asked what the knife looked like, he said it was ‘like a sword out of Arabian nights’.
He claimed he could not think of anything, inadvertent or accidental even, that could have motivated the attack.
Jurors also heard how the carriage descended into chaos in the wake of the attack.
Ella Blake, travelling with her sister Erin and friend Grace Rogers, were on their way to a concert in Shepherd’s Bush, the court was told.
‘As the doors were closing, she said he reached into a rucksack and took out a large knife,’ Ms Ong said. ‘He yelled something and swung the knife.
‘A lot of people got up at this point and started screaming. Ella Blake thought he was about to slash people.
‘Ella, as did many of the other passengers, tried to run but you can visualise the panic in that carriage. She ended up on top of people on the floor.
‘She saw a man who must be James Porritt slumped on the floor and heard the impact of the knife hitting him and she described Mr Porritt as letting out an unholy scream.
‘She noticed that her legs were wet with blood. She managed to get to the next carriage with her sister Erin. She could not see her other friend Grace and she feared that Grace had died.’
Erin had to pull herself out from underneath someone else to get to her sister and to the safety of the next carriage, the court heard.
Panicked passengers then clambered on top of each in desperate bid to escape, the Old Bailey, pictured, also heard
It is said their friend, Ms Rogers, heard Morgan shout: ‘This is not a terrorist attack.’
Another passenger, Andrew Court, who pulled the train’s emergency alarm, allegedly overheard something similar: ‘This isn’t a terrorist attack I only want him.’
It is said another man, Vladislav Schirco, locked the carriage door. ‘At that stage Mr Porritt was in that carriage being helped by another passenger,’ Ms Ong said.
‘He [Mr Shrico] saw the defendant walk towards him, open the door on his side.
‘He started banging on the second door and shouting, ‘I don’t want to kill you I want to kill him. He was trying to kill me.’
‘He carried on shouting, ‘Let me come through, let me come through. I kill him, I kill him.’
Mr Morgan was to tell a psychiatrist he had been carrying the machete and lock knife around for some time, Ms Ong said.
Ms Ong told jurors the defendant denied responsibility for the attack by reason of insanity.
He also had an almost empty bottle of vodka in his rucksack, the court heard.
The Old Bailey trial continues.