Tube pusher shoved man, 91, onto live tracks had ‘there’s a mad man… underground’ in head

Paul Crossley, 47, shoved Sir Robert Malpas on to the line at Marble Arch in central London on April 27 last year, a day after he had taken £600 worth of crack cocaine.

A court heard how Crossley had gone to London’s West End after having the Pet Shop Boys song ‘West End Girls’ in his head and believed it contained “a message for him”.

The hit song from the pop duo contains the lyrics: “You think you’re mad too unstable […] Call the police there’s a mad man around, Running down underground.”

Crossley was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder after he also tried to push another man Tobias French at a nearby station moments earlier.

At his sentencing hearing Benjamin Aina QC, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey: “What he told the probation officer is that is that he targeted Sir Robert Malpas, the second victim, because he looked old and less likely to be able to withstand his attack.

“And he agreed that the attack was deliberate, considerate and targeted behaviour.”

Mr Aina added: “When the defendant was arrested he simply said: ‘I’ve had no sleep’ – he later said he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 17.

“He was supposed to be taking medication for mental illness, but he had not taken any medication on that day.

“He had been using crack cocaine the day before the incident – around £600 worth of crack cocaine.”

Sir Robert, who attended the sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey, was saved by teacher Riyah El Hussani who leapt from the platform just one minute before a train was due to arrive.

Five psychiatric reports by three doctors were filed on paranoid schizophrenic Crossley after he was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder by a jury.

“The recovery was long and he described the effect on his life as huge, emotionally and physically”

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC

The second count was for trying to push a second man, Tobias French, on to the tracks at Tottenham Court Road as a train approached.

Benjamin Aina QC, prosecuting, said: “He pushed Tobias French towards the train tracks as a Central Line train was approaching.

“The train was about 10 metres away.

“Mr French was fortunate in that he was able to resist.

“Mr Crossley then caught a train to Marble Arch station where he pushed Sir Robert Malpas on to the train tracks.”

The court heard how Crossley had pushed Sir Robert “deliberately” because he “looked old” and looked unlikely to be able to withstand the attack.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said: “As far as Sir Robert Malpas is concerned, apart from lacerations to his skull, he had multiple fractures to his right pelvis, and spent a week in hospital.

“The recovery was long and he described the effect on his life as huge, emotionally and physically.”

Referring to Dr Hannah John-Kamen’s three reports on Crossley, he said: “An amount of stress has been placed on this defendant hearing a song, West End Girls, and getting on the Tube.

“The defendant said in evidence that before pushing… something in his head say, ‘yes, yes, yes, I am going to harm someone one.’

“We know that the defendant had in fact been threatened by drug dealers to whom he owed a large sum of money.

“It may be fair to say that in the first report a number of possible factors are mentioned, come the end she’s probably putting psychosis up to the top of the list in terms of significance where as Dr Joseph takes a different view.”

The court heard Crossley was given a 10-month suspended jail sentence last January for sexually assaulting a care worker in June 2016 and racially abusing another female care worker for saying he should go to his probation service appointments.

Crossley, of Leyton, East London, also received a two months suspended jail sentence for having a knife in a public place in September 2017.

The sentencing hearing continues.

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