Greater Manchester Police has confirmed that a man who lunged at five people with a knife when running through Manchester Arndale in October 2019 has been given a hospital order under the Mental Health Act.
In a statement released by the force yesterday, GMP explained that 43-year-old Raphael Chevelleau – who lived in Blackley, Manchester – was arrested by officers responding to reports of multiple people being stabbed at the shopping centre on the morning of Friday 11 October 2019.
Chevelleau had initially been held under the Terrorism Act following the incident, but was deemed by medical specialists to be initially unfit for interview and has been in a secure hospital under Mental Health Act ever since.
Detectives from Counter Terrorism Policing North West found no ideological motive for the attacks, but were however authorised to charge Chevelleau for three counts of wounding with intent and two counts of attempted wounding, with extensive CCTV enquiries eventually forming a sequence of Chevelleau’s movements that morning.
Giving further insights into his movements, GMP revealed he began at a local store in Blackley where he purchased a knife for £1.50, before putting in his coat pocket and heading towards the nearest bus stop.
After exiting the bus at Shudehill, Chevelleau went across to the Arndale where he walked through the shopping centre to the toilets to dispose of the packaging for the knife and return to the mall, before proceeding to go on a 90-second rampage where he first attacked a man in his 50s and subsequently inflicted injuries on four women aged between 19 and 49.
Thankfully, GMP said none of the injuries were life-threatening, but the man has since had his use of his right-hand severely affected, and all the victims had to be offered support for any psychological harm caused as a result of the attacks.
After pleading guilty at an earlier hearing, Chevelleau was eventually sentenced yesterday to a hospital order at Manchester Crown Court for three offences of wounding with intent, and two offences of attempted wounding.
The court heard that Chevelleau – who was a regular cannabis user – suffers from a schizophrenic illness, which has been resistant to treatment.
He was admitted to hospital in 2006 for a psychiatric illness, while his mother said he was diagnosed in prison with schizophrenia when he was 21, and a consultant forensic psychiatrist had previously told the court he thought it was “highly unlikely” Chevelleau would have committed the offences if he had not been suffering from schizophrenia.
He said there was “a wealth of evidence” that – unknown to medical practitioners and family members – his mental state deteriorated ahead of the stabbings.
Despite being arrested under counter-terrorism legislation due to the nature of the incident and comments made during his arrest, CTPNW investigators said they did not find evidence of an ideological motive.
Detectives said they spoke to over 160 witnesses to compile enough evidence to compel Chevelleau to plead guilty to all five stabbings and be sentenced to a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act subject to restrictions under section 41 of the Mental Health Act.
“This was a shocking and unprovoked attack and the Crown Prosecution Services thoughts remain with the victims and those directly affected by the actions of Mr Chevelleau,” said Nick Price – Head of the CPS Counter-Terrorism Division – following the sentencing.
“I am pleased that Mr Chevelleau has taken responsibility for his actions through his guilty pleas and that as such the victims and other witnesses who have provided statements are not required to give evidence in court.
“The sentence imposed by the court today reflects the seriousness of Mr Chevelleau’s actions and the level of danger he poses to the public.”
Featured Image – Greater Manchester Police
Yellow weather warning could bring ‘winds of up to 80mph’ and heavy rain to North West
Autumn is well and truly underway as colder temperatures have already started to descend on the UK. Now, though, high winds and heavy rain are expected to hit various regions across the nation.
The Met Office announced a yellow weather warning on Monday afternoon, predicting that strong gusts of winds exceeding 55mph are set to affect northern and western parts of the UK on Wednesday.
Meteorologist Alex Deakin said Brits should prepare for a “blusterous and boisterous” week ahead.
A yellow weather warning can encompass everything from injuries and danger to life caused by flying debris, to structural damage, disruption to travel and public transport, as well power cuts and more.
‘Persistent rain and stronger winds’ are already said to be battering parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland, before beginning to sink into more central areas of the UK from Tuesday onwards.
With rainfall expected to measure in at between 30-50mm across western Scotland – as much as 80mm across some mountainous areas – the low pressure is due to hit the northern and western parts of England on Tuesday night.
Experts have warned that while they are yet to nail down the exact details of peak wind strengths, they could easily surpass 55-65mph.
“There is a chance the deep low pressure system will bring gusts of 70 to 80 mph to northern parts of the UK on Wednesday”, says Sherwin, warning that “should this develop, disruption to travel and wind damage would be more likely. In addition, heavy rain in the northwest may make travelling more difficult.”
Stronger gales will remain on the cards for the North West as well as some significant rain, with the heaviest showers expected to fall on more western regions.
Best get weighing those bins down and preparing for a potential work-from-home day.
In just seconds, the entire ceiling is ablaze, with terrified customers scrambling for the exit.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service released the video in a bid to raise awareness and prevent any similar incidents at hospitality venues in the city-region.
The shocking incident occurred in a shisha bar in Rusholme, in May this year.
Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, but several people were taken to hospital with suspected burns.
In both this instance and in the One Eight Six incident, the cause of the blaze was determined as being ‘indoor fireworks igniting decorations, which then burned rapidly allowing the fire to spread’.
GMFRS is now working with licensing teams from the 10 councils in Greater Manchester to offer free information and advice sessions to owners and managers of cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants in advance of the Halloween, World Cup and the Christmas party season.
Leon Parkes, GMFRS’s director of prevention and protection, said: “Hospitality venues have a responsibility to keep their customers and staff safe and at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service we want to help businesses to understand their legal responsibilities and take action to protect their property, staff and customers from fire.
“We have seen a couple of instances in the past year in Manchester where fires have broken out in venues caused by indoor fireworks setting light to decorations.
“While fortunately fires don’t occur very often, the impact of a fire can be devastating and many businesses don’t recover.
“Pubs, bars and other venues will be very, very busy during October, November and December. It’s important that staff prepare by getting trained in what they need to do and that they don’t inadvertently create a fire risk.
“We know that the last two years have been really difficult for hospitality businesses and hopefully the forthcoming World Cup and Christmas period will be a boost for them. We gave out fire safety advice in May last year as Covid-19 restrictions eased and we are now working with our partners to help hospitality businesses be safe and stay safe.”