The man who sent a former Eurotunnel boss sprawling across the train tracks of the London Underground has been found guilty of attempted murder.
CCTV footage of the incident in April showed 46-year-old Paul Crossley pushing Robert Malpas, 91, from behind with both hands.
Crossley had also pushed a second person, Tobias French, who managed to keep his balance.
“There was a train coming in my direction at the time and if I had been pushed in front of it, I’m certain I would have been killed,” French told the court, according to a report by the UK Press Association.
But Crossley, who was homeless, told the court that he did not intend to kill both victims, whom he chose at random, and denied the two charges of attempted murder.
Flying onto the rails
The nonagenarian was shown in the CCTV footage walking along the platform of London’s Marble Arch station before Crossley, wearing a hood and cap, shoved him.
Malpas, told the London court that he felt himself “flying” onto the tracks.
“I may have been concussed but only for a very short time. I banged my head on the rails” Malpas told the court, according to PA.
He was saved by teacher Riyad El Hussani, who suffered burns on his hand when he touched an electrified rail as he rescued Malpas a minute before the next train was due to arrive.
The attack left Malpas with a gash on his head that required 12 stitches and a fractured pelvis.
Crossley, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia as a teenager, told police officers after the attack that he “didn’t get much sleep last night.”
In court, he explained that he had taken crack cocaine the day before and was feeling paranoid. He said he was having a panic attack when he pushed Malpas, and what he meant to do was “push him on the floor,” PA reported.