Manchester Arndale shopping centre stabbing spree attacker detained

Raphael Chevelleau has been detained under the Mental Health Act after stabbing five people at random in a shopping centre .

The October 2019 Manchester Arndale mall panic saw shoppers ran for their lives and dived for cover.

Raphael Chevelleau caused “widespread panic” as he injured three people and attempted to hurt two more during the shopping centre knife attack.

The 43 year old previously pleaded guilty to three counts of wounding with intent and two of attempted wounding at Manchester Crown Court.

He was sentenced to an indeterminate hospital order, meaning he will be detained in a secure hospital and will only be released with Home Office approval.

Chevelleau suffers from a schizophrenic illness which has been resistant to treatment, the court heard.

He was admitted to hospital in 2006 for psychiatric reasons, he was also diagnosed in prison with schizophrenia when he was 21.

The court heard Chevelleau caught a bus to the Arndale after buying a kitchen knife for £1.50 from a shop near his flat in Rochdale Road, Blackley, on the morning of 11 October 2019.

“With no warning he broke into a run, wielding the knife and randomly stabbed five members of the public,” prosecutor Andrew Ford said.

“He caused widespread fear and panic among the general public visiting the Arndale centre that day and a sense of pandemonium as people fled.”

The court heard Chevelleau dumped the knife in a bin on the street after his spree, which lasted one minute and 27 seconds.

His first victim was a 61-year-old engineer who was stabbed in the back, before he then attacked a 35-year-old woman walking with her husband who was grazed.

The woman later recalled how Chevelleau had a “wide cheesy smile” as he attacked her.

He next targeted a 45-year-old woman pushing her baby in a pram, who had a lucky escape as the knife came close to her ribs.

Chevelleau also stabbed a 21-year-old woman, who was visiting the city from Ireland with friends for an 18th birthday celebration, in her right shoulder and right bicep.

Chevelleau attacked his final victim, a 52-year-old female department store worker, as he ran out of the Arndale.

Only the layers of her clothing, including a bubble coat, meant she was not more seriously wounded.

Police said none of the injuries were life-threatening but the man has since had the use of his right-hand severely affected and all the victims have been offered support for psychological harm caused as a result of the attacks.

Chevelleau was initially held under the Terrorism Act but counter-terrorism detectives found no ideological motive for the attacks.

He was deemed by medical specialists to be initially unfit for interview and has been in a secure hospital ever since.