Man who pushed 91-year-old pensioner onto London train tracks jailed for life

Man who pushed 91-year-old pensioner onto London train tracks jailed for life

A MAN who pushed a 91-year-old pensioner onto train tracks at a London Underground station has been jailed for life with a minimum of 12 years.

Paul Crossley, 47, shoved former Eurotunnel chairman Sir Robert Malpas onto the rails at Marble Arch station in a horrifying attack captured by CCTV on April 27 last year.

Earlier that day, Crossley had tried to push another Tube traveller – 23-year-old Tobias French – onto the tracks at Tottenham Court Road station.

The defendant, a crack cocaine user who has paranoid schizophrenia, was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder at the Old Bailey last October before sentencing yesterday.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC ordered that Crossley's 12-year sentence be served initially in hospital until he is deemed suitable for prison.

The judge described the attacks by the so-called 'Tube Pusher' as "terrifying" and said he posed a "grave and enduring risk" to the public.

"You pushed Mr French first of all knowing very clearly that was wrong, and then you tried to make yourself harder to identify with your hood," he said.

Judge Hilliard added that the defendant had then "consciously and deliberately sought out" Sir Robert, who was knighted in 1998, as he was "vulnerable" due to his age.

"The moment you saw Sir Robert you went for him... it's an aggravating feature that you attacked Sir Robert because of his age," he said.

Crossley, of Leyton, east London, had claimed he was guided to the area by the Pet Shop Boys song West End Girls.

Judge Hilliard said the pop song he had referred to "simply put the idea of going to a place in your head, as can happen to any of us".

Convicting him, the judge concluded: "I'm satisfied that paranoid schizophrenia was not the driving force here – it was drug abuse and its consequences."

Sir Robert had been heading to Oxford Circus after a pensioners' lunch when he was attacked by Crossley.

The pensioner suffered a broken pelvis in the fall and was rescued by teacher Riyad El Hussani, who leapt from the platform to save him shortly before the next train was due to arrive.

Judge Hilliard said Mr Hussani acted with "great bravery and no regard at all for his safety".

Before his sentencing, Crossley admitted to being in breach of a 10-month suspended sentence he received four months prior to the Tube attacks in January 2018.

He had avoided jail after being found guilty of a sexual assault on a community nurse, racially aggravated harassment of a care worker and possession of a knife in public.