Drug addict who pushed former Eurotunnel boss onto Tube tracks jailed for life

Telegraph Reporters
CCTV issued by British Transport Police of Sir Robert Malpas being pushed on to the tracks by Paul Crossley - PA

A drug addict who pushed a former Eurotunnel boss onto Tube tracks has been jailed for life with a minimum of 12 years.

Paul Crossley, 47, shoved Sir Robert Malpas, 91, into the path of a train at London's Marble Arch station on April 27 last year.

Shortly before the "terrifying" attack, Crossley had tried to shove Tobias French, 23, onto the tracks at Tottenham Court Road station. 

The defendant, a crack cocaine user who has paranoid schizophrenia, claimed he was guided to the area by the Pet Shop Boys song "West End Girls".

He was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder at the Old Bailey last year. 

Jailing Crossley yesterday, Judge Nicholas Hilliard, QC, 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".

Paul Crossley Credit: British Transport Police 

Judge Hilliard said he "consciously and deliberately sought out" Sir Robert, who was knighted in 1998, due to his age.

"The moment you saw Sir Robert you went for him," he added.

"I'm satisfied that paranoid schizophrenia was not the driving force here - it was drug abuse and its consequences."

The victim suffered a broken pelvis in the fall and was rescued by teacher Riyad El Hussani, who leapt from the platform just one minute before the next train was due to arrive.

Before being sentenced, Crossley also admitted being in breach of a 10-month suspended sentence imposed at Snaresbrook Crown Court in January 2018.

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