A mentally ill man who shoved a global financial expert in front of a Tube train today issued a “heartfelt apology” as he admitted attempted murder.
Alan Alencar, 29, had recently been freed from a mental health facility in Scotland when he walked up behind Alain Lesjongard on the platform at Bayswater station and pushed him with both hands on to the tracks below.
Mr Lesjongard, a 55-year-old father-of-two who was on his way home from a job interview, was hurt as he landed between the rails, suffering a badly broken ankle and deep wounds to his neck and shoulders.
The train driver slammed on the brakes as Mr Lesjongard fell, and miraculously he avoided further injury by curling up in a ball as the train passed over him.
Horrified witnesses feared the worst and were stunned when Mr Lesjongard managed to hobble free from under the train and back on to the platform.
Mr Lesjongard, a compliance executive who lives in Putney, was treated in hospital for his injuries and is still recovering from the incident, which happened during evening rush hour on November 2 last year.
At the Old Bailey today, Alencar pleaded guilty to attempted murder. Sporting long shaggy hair and a beard, he spoke only to confirm his name and enter the plea.
“Mr Alencar wishes for me to send heartfelt apologies to Mr Lesjongard and his family for the difficulties they are suffering as a result”, said his barrister, Andrew Forsyth.
“It is clear Mr Alencar was, on any view, very seriously ill at the time of this incident.
“He had been released on a temporary discharge from a facility where he was detained in Edinburgh. But he hadn’t taken his oral medication and he should have done.”
Mr Forsyth said Alencar, who is from Edinburgh, had been to visit his mother, who was also being treated in a psychiatric unit and was in a “bad way”, just before the attack.
“That had been shocking and distressed him”, he added, saying a doctor who has assessed Alencar believes he was suffering from a “breakthrough psychosis at the time of the incident”.
“He doesn’t remember it in any detail, but describes being immediately regretful and remembers trying to indicate for the train to stop but that was futile in the circumstances”, said Mr Forsyth.
Judge Sarah Munro QC remanded Alencar in custody until a sentencing hearing on March 9. She will consider the possibility of detaining him indefinitely in a secure mental health facility.