Trial starts for man accused of ‘spree of violence’ on London Underground

A man went on a “motiveless” 35-minute “spree of violence” against strangers on the London Underground, including pushing a passenger onto the rails, a court heard.

Donovan Kenlyn, 39, “chased and punched” Tube passenger Samer Jawad at Baker Street Underground station in October 2022, a jury at the Old Bailey was told.

Minutes later, Kenlyn got off a train at Finchley Road station and “propelled” Angel Cambeiro onto the rails, narrowly missing the ones that were live.

He then travelled to nearby West Hampstead station where he struck a third man, Peter Acton.

None of the three men knew the defendant.

Kenlyn accepts that he was involved in all three incidents but denies the charges because he was suffering with schizophrenia.

Judge Philip Katz KC told the jury: “The physical actions aren’t in dispute, this is a case where you will be considering mental health, at least”.

Opening the trial at the Old Bailey on Thursday, prosecutor Michael Williams said: “On the morning of Thursday October 27 2022, the defendant Donovan Kenlyn undertook a spree of violence against members of the public on the London Underground.”

He said the spree lasted 35 minutes and was “without any known motive”.

Mr Williams said: “It is accepted on behalf of the defendant that he was the man who punched Mr Jawad, who caused Mr Cambeiro to fall onto the tracks, and who struck Mr Acton.”

Shortly after 10am, Kenlyn got on the Central Line at Hanger Lane Underground station, west London – the closest stop to his house at the time.

An hour and 20 minutes later he was seen on CCTV at Baker Street wearing a bobble hat and dark clothing.

Mr Jawad was visiting London and travelling to the station to meet a friend at nearby Regent’s Park.

When he went to leave the Bakerloo Line train he “felt a presence to his left” and saw Kenlyn, who had not been on board until then.

In a witness statement read to the court, Mr Jawad said: “I then realised this person was actually facing me, and that they were talking aggressively towards me – they were being very hostile towards me, but I just didn’t know why.”

He said Kenlyn accused of him of “saying something” including “did you say black?” and the complainant fled down the platform.

Mr Jawad said: “It was like he had his eyes set on me, he was furious and I was still running, he was still saying ‘did you say black?’

“At some point while I was being chased I said ‘I didn’t say anything, I didn’t say anything’.”

CCTV footage played to the court showed Mr Sawad on the floor and Kenlyn hitting him.

Mr Jawad said he was punched “two or three times” while he was on the ground and two landed on his face.

Fellow passengers tried to intervene and the complainant again tried to flee.

He said: “I wasn’t sure where I was going to flee to. (I was) trying to find people for safety.”

However, Kenlyn caught up in the station concourse and Mr Jawad said: “That was when he stuck me on the right hand side, I didn’t know where he was coming from or what had struck me for that matter.

“I fell forwards to the ground and thought I was going to black out.”

Mr Williams said that Mr Jawad suffered no significant injuries but it was a “very frightening incident”.

Within nine minutes Kenlyn was at Finchley Road station – three stops away on the Jubilee or one on the Metropolitan line.

Mr Williams said Mr Cambeiro spotted Kenlyn “looking aggressive” and walking towards him along the platform with a clenched fist.

The defendant raised his fist and the next thing Mr Cambeiro knew he was on the tracks with a dislocated and broken elbow, the prosecutor added.

Mr Williams said: “Mr Cambeiro confirms that without the help of the staff and his fellow passengers he would have simply been unable to get back onto the platform, owing to the injuries in his right arm.”

Minutes later at West Hampstead station, Kenlyn ran into a carriage after Mr Acton and struck him, causing him to fall onto the seat dividers and fracture his ribs.

Kenlyn, of North Circular Road, Ealing, left the carriage after striking Mr Acton and by 1.45pm that day he had returned to the stop by his house.

Kenlyn is charged with attempted murder and assault causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Cambeiro, of assault occasioning actual bodily harm to Mr Acton and assault by beating against Mr Jawad.

The trial continues.