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‘Terminator’ machete attacker who repeatedly stabbed commuter on Tube jailed for life

A machete-wielding attacker who attempted to murder a commuter on the tube has been jailed for life after the rampage, which has been likened to a scene from a horror movie.

A court heard how passengers fell over one another as they fled from 34-year-old Ricky Morgan, after he launched an unprovoked savage attack on businessman James Porritt at Green Park on July 9 last year.

On May 20 of this year, Morgan, 35, was found guilty of attempted murder and possession of two blades.

His sentencing was adjourned while a psychiatric report was prepared.

The Old Bailey at the time heard how Morgan told terrified onlookers: “This is not a terror attack, I only want him.”

Mr Porritt, who fled from Morgan holding parts of his mutilated hand together, told jurors it was like a “horror movie” and compared it to the sci-fi film Terminator.

Morgan denied attempted murder on grounds of insanity, but was found guilty after two days of deliberation.

On Monday morning a judge at the Old Bailey passed a life sentence with a 14-year nine month minimum term, as the senior investigating officer in the case said he was pleased to see Morgan put “behind bars where he belongs”.

Detective Inspector Daren Bates, senior investigating officer in the case, said: “I’m incredibly pleased to see Ricky Morgan sentenced today, following our investigation into what was an extremely disturbing incident on the Jubilee line last year.

“Morgan is a very dangerous individual who subjected the victim to an unprovoked and frenzied knife attack.”

Inspector Bates said police had “worked tirelessly” to gather evidence which had been crucial in reaching this result.

The police officer thanked the “brave witnesses” who had helped in the investigation and said he hoped the result provided Mr Porritt with some solace as he dealt with his lasting injuries.

“I would like to personally thank him for his courage and support – both were vital to our work to put Morgan behind bars where he belong.”

Along with the attempted murder charge, Morgan was also convicted of possessing a machete and a lock knife.

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

On the evening of July 9 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 and was in a carriage with Morgan, who produced the machete and a lock knife from his rucksack near Green Park, the court heard.

In a video interview played in court, Mr Porritt described minding his own business and being in a “bubble” as he sat in the carriage, where he was looking at his phone and feeling nervous about the family meeting, before his thoughts were interrupted by a piercing scream.

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

Mr Porritt put his hand up to protect himself during the onslaught, the jury heard.

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 any pain 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.”

Mr Porritt said he recalled being scared he was going to lose his finger as he held his hand together and “ran for [his] life”.

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

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

In a statement, Mr Porritt said the trial had been a “significant part” of his healing process following the events which had changed his life, his girlfriend’s life and the lives of those who witnessed the attack.

“It’s been a long and traumatic road that I have had to travel,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Porritt said he was “indebted” to his loved ones and friends who had been a “pillar of strength” to him during his physical rehabilitation.

He went on to thank the team of police who had offered “essential support and guidance” through the legal process.

Detective Sergeant Nick Thompson, of the Major, Serious and Organised crime team at British Transport Police (BTP) said Morgan was “evidently a danger to the public” and the jury “saw fit to ensure he faces consequences equal to the severity of this attack”.

As well as the severe injury to his right hand, Mr Porritt suffered bone-deep cuts to his head and shin, jurors were told.

According to witnesses, passengers got up and screamed when the attacker started waving the knife around and a stampede ensued as commuters attempted to get away.

Another passenger tried to talk to Morgan to calm him down, the court was told, and a doctor on the train gave Mr Porritt first aid.

When he was confronted by police after his savage attack, Morgan dropped the blade and put his hands up.

He told officers it was “a road issue” not a “terrorist attack”, adding: “If I had known it would cause this much drama I would not have done it.”

Morgan was to tell a psychiatrist he had been carrying the machete and lock knife around for some time.

He also had an almost empty bottle of vodka in his rucksack, the court heard.

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