Teen Pleads Guilty to Killing American Woman in London Stabbing Attack

A teenager has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in respect of the killing of an American woman in Russell Square during a series of random stabbings on August 3 previous year.

Bulhan admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after it emerged that he had struggled for months with mental illness before the attack on August 3 a year ago.

19 year old Zakaria Bulhan is a Norwegian of Somali origin who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Opening the facts of the case, Mr Heywood said that, on the evening of August 3 past year, a man was seen "moving in an erratic fashion" in Russell Square, armed with a large kitchen knife.

Among the others injured was Israeli teenager Ms Lewronki, 18, who was stabbed in the hand, and Mr Hoenisch, a retired firefighter from Las Vegas who was visiting London with his wife.

He had been charged with one count of murder and five of attempted murder, but prosecutors said they would accept the guilty pleas to lesser charges.

News reports that the case was considered "at the highest levels" before Bulhan's guilty manslaughter plea was accepted. They were due to fly home the next day.

Horton had been visiting London with her husband, Florida State professor Richard Wagner, while he was teaching summer classes.

On the day of the attacks Bulhan had gone with his father to attend prayers at the East London Mosque, but had run off and was caught on CCTV heading towards Russell Square. The incident, which was initially feared to be terrorism, sparked a major police operation.

Police subdued Bulhan with a stun gun after the late-night attack in Russell Square, when arrested he admitted to hearing voices and told police the Devil made him kill four people.

Mr Wagner said there was an irony to the fact that his high school sweetheart, a former special needs teacher, lost her life to mental illness.

Bulhan will be sentenced on Tuesday.

  • Jon Douglas