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Daniel Horton, 30, has been convicted after he stabbed a prayer leader in the neck in an unprovoked attacked at a central London mosque.
Horton pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of a bladed article in a public place at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, 12 October.
The convict will be sentenced at the same court on Monday, 16 November.
The incident happened on Thursday, 20 February at a mosque on Park Road, NW8 at 15:10hrs.
Officers attended with paramedics and found a man in his 70s suffering from stab injuries.
He was taken to a hospital where the doctor disclosed that his injury was not life=threatening.
On the said date at about 15:00hrs, the victim who was acting on behalf of a muezzin whose duty is to call members for prayers in the main hall saw Horton in the second row.
According to the police report, the 70-year-old man who have been attending the mosque for about 25 years recognised his attacker as someone who is a regular at the mosque but did not recall his name.
The victim was said to have “felt a sharp smack to his side of the neck”at the end of the second prayer, however, was still oblivious that he was stabbed, but observed, “blood on the floor”.
He held his neck and walked through the main prayer hall where many of the members “rushed over to help him”.
The police said worshippers who witnessed Horton raised his arm and stab the victim “bravely detained him and called the police”.
Upon arrival, Horton was arrested for attempted murder and he told officers: “This is not a religious attack and is not a racist attack”.
Meanwhile, the 70-year-old man told the police that “He was unaware of why he was attacked.
At the Central London Police station where he was held in custody, Horton reportedly told a detention officer: “I don’t need a solicitor, I’m going to admit it”, and during an interview, he added, “I did this.”
Horton also said in the custody, according to the custody sergeant that “I had no intention of killing him. By the way, I was standing I could easily have killed him, but I had no intention of that. This was to send a message to him and the other associated with him.”
More question to Horton yielded to further reply as he “simply smiled and nodded”, the police said in a statement.
The attacker, who didn’t give any reason why he carried out his attack “smiled when he was shown photographs of the victim’s injuries”
The investigating officer from Central West CID, Detective Constable Daniel Jones described the incident as “shocking and brutal unprovoked attack” in a place of worship “where the victim should’ve been safe.”
“Horton had the audacity to smile when he was shown images of his victim’s injuries, not showing any remorse for his heinous actions. I’m therefore pleased that Horton has pleaded guilty and finally taken responsibility for his wicked actions.
“I’d like to thank the worshippers who heroically detained Horton on that day, which possibly prevented him from causing further harm. I’d also like to thank the victim for his courage and cooperation throughout the investigation.
“We may never know why Horton chose to viciously attack his victim, but there is never an acceptable excuse or reason for the use of violence. The Met will continue to crack down on violence in London as well as on those people who think it is acceptable to carry an offensive weapon.”