Tube pusher jailed for life for murder bids

Paul CrossleyImage copyright
British Transport Police

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Paul Crossley carried out two attacks in “terrifying circumstances”, a judge said

A man who pushed a former Eurotunnel boss on to Tube tracks in central London has been jailed for life.

Paul Crossley shoved 91-year-old Sir Robert Malpas at Marble Arch in April 2018, after earlier trying to push Tobias French at Tottenham Court Road.

Crossley, 47, of Leyton, east London, was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder and will serve a minimum of 12 years.

A judge described him as a “grave and enduring risk to the public”.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC told the Old Bailey that Crossley had carried out two attacks in “terrifying circumstances”.

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Media captionTobias French was about to get the Tube home when a stranger attempted to push him into the path of an oncoming train.

The court previously heard Crossley, who has paranoid schizophrenia, had not taken his medication on the day of the attacks and had used £600 worth of crack cocaine the day before.

In the first of the attacks on 27 April, Crossley tried to push Mr French on to the tracks as a train entered the station, but the professional sportsman managed to keep his balance.

During the trial, Crossley said he had meant “to scare” Mr French, from Bracknell, Berkshire, who had “looked at me a bit funny”.

‘Sought vulnerable victim’

Judge Hilliard said CCTV footage of the attack had been “terrifying to watch” and Crossley fled, before picking out Sir Robert due to his age.

Crossley “consciously and deliberately sought out a more vulnerable victim”, according to the judge.

He added: “The moment you saw Sir Robert you went for him.”

After being pushed on to the tracks, Sir Robert was rescued by Riyad El Hussani, who jumped down from the platform and pulled him away from danger.

Judge Hilliard said teacher Mr El Hussani acted with “great bravery and no regard at all for his safety”.

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Sir Robert Malpas had been at a pensioners’ lunch before he was attacked by Crossley

Former industrialist Sir Robert, who was knighted in 1998, spent more than a week in hospital with a fractured pelvis and a head wound.

The “driving force” for the attacks was “drug abuse and its consequences” rather than paranoid schizophrenia, the judge added.

Crossley will first be sent to hospital until his health improves and then to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.

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