Stabbing rampage accused ‘felt hypnotised’ during car park attacks
A pensioner told police he was "out of control" and felt "under pressure" as he allegedly stabbed four women, a court has heard.
Ethem Orhon, 67, told officers he launched the random attacks outside a Sainsbury's supermarket in Hampton, west London, on May 20 because he had felt "humiliated" and "tortured" by police who had arrested him the previous day for possession of another knife.
Orhon, of Deacons Walk, Hampton, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of attempted murder and two of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
A jury at Kingston Crown Court heard excerpts from Orhon's police interviews in which the retired odd-job man told officers he felt as though he had been "hypnotised".
After being charged with having a bladed article and released on bail, Orhon said he felt "it was like I was remote-controlled".
Orhon, who had no previous contact with medical services, went home, grabbed his spare Leatherman knife and went to Sainsbury's - "the most crowded place that I know" - and began "stabbing and stabbing".
The four women - Suzanna Brand, 53, Janet Morsy, 63, Jean Sullivan, 68, and Charandasi Chandiramani, 71 - suffered "appalling injuries" in or near the supermarket's car park, prosecutor Jonathan Polnay has told the court.
The bravery of two Hampton Grammar School pupils probably prevented more bloodshed.
The boys distracted Orhon, warned other innocent passers-by that he was armed and dangerous, called police and stayed on the telephone with the 999 operator during the rampage.
Miss Brand, who has learning difficulties, was hit from behind, struck 13 times and left with two collapsed lungs.
A screaming Ms Morsy thought she was going to die as she was struck in the arm and chest as she tried to defend herself.
Ms Sullivan was stabbed in the back, causing her chest wall, right lung and liver to be damaged.
Ms Chandiramani was stabbed twice in the back.
During his police and medical interviews, Orhon had said: "I became a different person. There was one thought in my mind - which was go home, grab the spare knife and assault people ... I feel I had to do it and finish the job. I had to obey the order."
He also said: "I came from that (police) station to home with strange feelings ... I felt very, very bad."
He added: "These were innocent people. They have done nothing to me. No conversation. I was out of control of myself. I was just stabbing and stabbing."
Orhon said it was only later that he realised what had happened.
Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph told the court that Orhon is suffering from paranoid psychosis, which may put a person out of touch with reality.
Dr Joseph described Orhon's isolated lifestyle.
The defendant, who is originally from Turkey, was briefly married and has no children, he plays chess a lot, is always by himself, dropped out of an architecture course and spends a lot of time in the library.
Orhon also told Dr Joseph he has no friends, does not want anything, does not have a GP, does not get depressed or angry.
He has also had stints of homelessness, during which he shoplifted.
Starting to give evidence, Orhon said he had felt humiliated after being strip-searched by the police when they arrested him the day before the stabbings.
He told the court: "I was completely naked. I was treated like an animal. I did not deserve that treatment."
His defence lawyer, Jeffrey Lamb, said Orhon has appeared at a magistrates' court 12 times - six times for shoplifting, plus occasions for obtaining property by deception, battery and using disorderly behaviour, and three times for failing to surrender to bail.
He also came into contact with the police for possession of an offensive weapon.
Orhon said he had lived on and off in hostels and tents after arriving in Britain from Turkey in 1989.
He had never had any contact with a psychiatrist until after the knife attacks in May.
He told the court: "I live alone because it is out of trouble. I am not a social person."
Orhon said he had a total of four Leatherman knives, which have been confiscated by police.
He said: "First of all when I was on the streets, I would carry it to fix things on my bike. I have no kitchen knife in my home. I use it for eating purposes."