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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Ricky Morgan: ‘Terminator’ Tube machete attacker found guilty of attempted murder

A machete-wielding attacker who hacked at a commuter on the London Underground in scenes likened to the Terminator film has been found guilty of attempted murder.

Passengers toppled over each other as they fled through carriages when Ricky Morgan, 34, launched an unprovoked assault on businessman James Porritt, the trial had heard.

Giving evidence, the victim, who suffered a severe injury to his hand and bone-deep cuts to his head and shin, said it was like a “horror movie” and the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi film.

CCTV footage of the frenzied onslaught has now been released by British Transport Police.

Morgan denied attempted murder on grounds of insanity, but was found guilty by a jury at the Old Bailey after two days of deliberations.

He was also convicted of possessing a machete and a lock knife.

Morgan, 34, was heard to tell horrified onlookers: “This is not a terror attack, I only want him.”

Describing the attack, Mr Porritt said: “He was like a machine. It was like that movie Terminator.

“But it seemed very focused and relentless, and he was just hell-bent on doing what he was doing.

“I’ve got nothing left now. I don’t know how I escaped.

“I just knew, fight or flight. I just ran for my life. It was like a stampede, people were terrified.”

Judge John Hillen adjourned sentencing until 22 July for a psychiatric report to be prepared.

Ricky Morgan
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The attacker was likened by his victim to a predator ‘and he was hunting’. Pic: BTP

Prosecutor Grace Ong had told jurors that Mr Porritt and Morgan were complete strangers.

She said: “This was, the prosecution say, a completely unprovoked attack on a commuter on the Jubilee line going about his daily business.”

On the evening of 9 July last year, Mr Porritt, a self-employed businessman, had visited a gym and was on his way to meet his girlfriend and her father in west London.

He got on a north-bound train at Westminster before Morgan produced the machete and a lock knife from his rucksack near Green Park.

In a video interview played in court, Mr Porritt said he had been minding his own business sat in the carriage looking at his phone when he heard a scream.

The next thing he knew was the defendant hitting him over the head, the court was told.

Ricky Morgan
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Morgan let out an ‘unholy scream’ as he lashed out

Describing the attack, he said: “I was pleading ‘Please stop, please stop’.

“I was in shock, it was like a horror movie. I genuinely thought he was going to kill me.”

Mr Porritt said he did not feel anything but saw the blood as Morgan smashed an object over his head.

He said: “He was just hitting me. It did not make sense. I didn’t understand why this guy was hitting me. There was no confrontation. There was no issue, it was just bang, (he) started hitting me.

“He was like a machine. It was like that movie Terminator.

“He was emotionless. He did not seem to have any kind of compassion.

“But it seemed very focused and relentless and he was just hellbent on doing what he was doing.

“He was like on a mission. He kept hitting my shin and I genuinely thought I was going to die.

“I’ve got nothing left now. I don’t know how I escaped. I was scared I was going to lose my little finger and I held it together.

“I just knew, fight or flight. I just ran for my life. It was like a stampede, people were terrified.”

Morgan pursued him and lunged the “huge” blade through the window of the connecting carriage door, Mr Porritt said.

Pointing with the knife through the door, Morgan said: “I don’t want anyone else, I just want him,” the court heard.

Mr Porritt added: “It was just like he was a predator and he was hunting, and he decided he was hunting me.

“He just would not stop. He was relentless. He said he did not want anybody else, he just wanted me. He was fixated with me.”

He managed to get away and through a carriage door, while holding the severed parts of his hand together.

Ricky Morgan
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Sentencing of the 34-year-old has been adjourned for a psychiatric report

One witness said the attacker let out an “unholy scream” as he hit out with the machete.

He was heard to say: “This is not a terrorist attack, I only want him.

“I don’t want to kill you, I want to kill him, he was trying to kill me.”

Another passenger bravely tried to engage with Morgan and told him to “calm down”, the court heard.

Meanwhile, a doctor who happened to be on the train gave Mr Porritt first aid.

On being confronted by police, Morgan dropped the blade, put his hands up and got on the floor.

He went on to tell a psychiatrist he had been carrying the machete and lock knife around for some time.

Morgan, of no fixed address, declined to give evidence in court.

Undated Family Handout Photo Issued By The British Transport Police (Btp) Of James Porritt, As Ricky Morgan, 34, Has Been Found Guilty At The Old Bailey In London, Of Hacking Commuter Mr Porritt With A Machete On The Tube.  Panicked Passengers Toppled Over Each Other As They Fled Through Carriages When Morgan Launched An Unprovoked Attack On Mr Porritt.  Issue Date: Friday May 20, 2022.
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James Porritt said the attack had changed his life forever

Following the guilty verdict, Mr Porritt said: “The events that took place on the Jubilee line train during rush hour have changed my family, my girlfriend’s and my life forever; as well as every single person who witnessed the attack on the train that evening .

“It’s been a long and traumatic road that I have had to travel. I am still in the process of recovery. Until I reach that destination, it’s a road I continue to walk.

“The scars from this attack on my legs, elbow, arm, face/head and my entire right hand will remain with me for the rest of my life.

“My surgeon is unable to determine if I will ever regain the full use of my right, dominant hand.”

Detective Sergeant Nick Thompson of the BTP, said: “This was a brutal and unprovoked attack. The two men had never spoken, never met, and had never crossed paths until that day.

“Clearly it was terrifying situation for the victim, he was able to escape but this attack and the injuries he suffered continues to have a substantial impact on his life.

“BTP firearms officers were soon at the scene, Morgan was subdued and taken into custody. He is evidently a danger to the public and the jury saw fit to ensure he faces consequences equal to the severity of this attack.”

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