Miraculous survival of commuter pushed in front of Tube by a psychiatric patient

A city worker who was pushed in front of a Tube by a psychiatric patient managed to survive by curling up into the foetal position.

The victim, Alain Lesjongard, lay curled up in the foetal position between the tracks, allowing the train to pass over him.

The Old Bailey heard that it was sheer luck that he was not electrocuted or killed.

Alan Alencar, a paranoid schizophrenic, was said to have had a wide-eyed expression and a vacant stare as he stood in Bayswater Underground Station moments later, having walked calmly from the platform.

He admitted pushing a commuter into the path of an oncoming Tube train, saying he was ‘crazy and stupid’ shortly after the near-fatal shove.

Lesjongard, who was on his way back from a job interview, was covered in blood and his suit left in shreds as he crawled from under the train on November 2 last year.

The court heard that it was ‘miraculous’ that the victim survived (PA)
The court heard that it was ‘miraculous’ that the victim survived (PA)

The driver applied the brakes, but the westbound District Line train travelled three-quarters of the way down the platform during the incident at around 5pm.

Lesjongard, 55, suffered injuries to his left leg, which the prosecution said was ‘now being held together with screws and plates’, as well as his back and a deep cut on his neck.

He has since had panic attacks and has not been able to bring himself to travel on that stretch of the District Line for the past five months.

The train driver, who has endured flashbacks and nightmares, has not felt able to return to work, the court was told.

It was ‘an extraordinary stroke of luck’ that Lesjongard avoided touching the live rails, Prosecutor Alex Agbamu said.

Alencar admitted pushing a commuter into the path of an oncoming Tube train (PA)
Alencar admitted pushing a commuter into the path of an oncoming Tube train (PA)

Judge Sarah Munro QC: ‘Miraculously Mr Lesjongard was neither electrocuted nor killed in this incident.’

CCTV footage of the push was played to the court showing Alencar get up from a bench in the station, walk towards Lesjongard, a complete stranger to him, and push him in the back with both hands, before walking away.


The defendant, wearing a light brown jumper over a light blue t-shirt and sporting a head of dark curly hair, continued to stare at the screen from the dock for some time after the footage was paused.

When arrested by British Transport Police, Alencar was calm and compliant the court heard.

He said: ‘First time for everything, but I won’t do that again’, as well as: ‘I was crazy and stupid but I won’t do it again.’

He had come to London on leave from a psychiatric institution in Edinburgh, visiting the capital to see his mother – who the court heard also suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

He had been on medication and had improved to the point where he was granted unsupervised leave to go to his new flat, but instead travelled to London.

At an earlier hearing, he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder.

Sentencing the 29-year-old at the Old Bailey on Monday Judge Munro said: ‘You had been living in another world for years and had remained detached from reality.

‘I am quite satisfied that you are suffering from a severe and enduring psychotic illness. The diagnosis is unambiguous.’

Judge Munro – who described the risk posed by Alencar as ‘very significant’ – imposed a section 37 hospital order and an indefinite section 41 restriction order under the Mental Health Act on Alencar, of Northcote Street in Edinburgh.