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Man found not guilty by reason of insanity over three Tube attacks

The Old Bailey heard Donovan Kenlyn, 39, was suffering with schizophrenia when he injured three people at as many London Underground stations.

A mentally ill Tube passenger has been found not guilty by reason of insanity over three attacks in as many London Underground stations, including causing someone to fall onto rail tracks.

Donovan Kenlyn, 39, punched Tube passenger Samer Jawad at Baker Street station, and minutes later caused Angel Cambeiro to fall on to the tracks at Finchley Road, narrowly missing live rails.

He then travelled to nearby West Hampstead station where he struck a third man, Peter Acton, on the back of the head.

Kenlyn accepted that he was involved in the attacks that occurred over 35 minutes, but denied the charges because he was suffering with “active” schizophrenia that caused him to falsely believe he was under threat.

Jurors at the Old Bailey were asked to consider whether he was too unwell to know if his behaviour on October 27 2022 was wrong, and whether he intended to injure Mr Cambeiro.

He was cleared by the jury on Thursday of attempted murder against Mr Cambeiro and of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to the same complainant.

An alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm without intent to Mr Cambeiro was added on Tuesday and jurors found Kenlyn not guilty by reason of insanity of that count.

The jury also found him not guilty by reason of insanity of assault occasioning actual bodily harm to Mr Acton and of assault by beating against Mr Jawad.

A verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity is a “special verdict” and does not mean Kenlyn has been acquitted on those counts by the jury, but means he likely faces a hospital order when he comes to be sentenced on a date yet to be fixed.

At the time of the incident, Kenlyn was a single male, living alone, and not receiving any treatment for his mental health condition.

Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Bradley Hillier told the court on Monday: “It does appear for various reasons – not entirely surprising in my opinion – that Mr Kenlyn had not been under the care of mental health services.”

He had likely been ill for “many years” because schizophrenia usually sets in in the late teens or early 20s, Dr Hillier added.

The clinician said he met Kenlyn at least four times in the 18 months before the trial and described his illness as “severe, enduring, relapsing and remitting”.

He suffered persecutory delusions, auditory hallucinations, a thought disorder that made him “at times incomprehensible”, and “threat/control-override” symptoms due to psychosis.

Summarising the latter symptom in court, Dr Hillier said: “The (threat/control-override) concept is that there are certain types of symptoms which means that a person feels a heightened sense of threat for danger – these could be persecutory delusions, hallucinations and a heightened sense of threat that is in the environment for the person who’s experiencing this state of mind.

“Usually people obviously don’t act violently. But in a state where somebody is experiencing heightened threat in their environment, their ability to control their behaviour in terms of violent behaviour is reduced.”

Kenlyn has been remanded in custody since his arrest on October 31 2022, and defence barrister Paul Lazarus said in his closing statement: “Mr Kenlyn was a very ill man in terms of his mental health at the time, even with treatment for almost two years he is still very unwell.”

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