Tube pusher given life sentence for attempted murder of Eurotunnel boss on Underground

A paranoid schizophrenic who pushed a former Eurotunnel boss on to the Tube tracks was jailed for life today.

Paul Crossley, 47, shoved 91-year-old Sir Robert Malpas on to the rails at Marble Arch station on April 27 last year and was found guilty of two charges of attempted murder in October.

Sir Robert, who was heading to Oxford Circus after a pensioners' lunch, was rescued by teacher Riyad El Hussani, who leapt from the platform just one minute before the next train was due to arrive.

The industrialist, who was knighted by the Queen in 1998, suffered a broken pelvis and a cut to the head which needed 12 stitches.

Paul Crossley has been jailed after being found guilty of attempted murder (PA/AP)

Crossley, who has paranoid schizophrenia, was chased and detained by members of the public.

The shocking incident was caught on CCTV footage, which was played at Crossley's trial last year.

Earlier, another passenger Tobias French, managed to keep his balance when he was pushed by Crossley as a train pulled in to Tottenham Court Road station.

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Crossley, of Leyton, east London, had said he picked his victims at random and did not mean to kill them.

He told jurors he had taken crack cocaine the previous day and began feeling paranoid as he made his way to the West End to get coffee.

Jurors rejected his defence and found him guilty of two charges of attempted murder.

Crossley had earlier attempted to push Tobias French onto the tracks at Tottenham Court Road station, but fled on a Central Line train when his victim fought back.

CCTV shows Robert Malpas being pushed on to the tracks of Marble Arch Underground station in London (AP)

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said the attacks were carried out in "terrifying circumstances" and told Crossley he poses 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.

Crossley then "consciously and deliberately sought out a more vulnerable victim", the judge said, adding Sir Robert was singled out for his age

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

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

Judge Hilliard added: "It's an aggravating feature that you attacked Sir Robert because of his age."

Sir Robert, who was heading to Oxford Circus after a pensioners' lunch, was rescued by teacher Riyad El Hussani (AP)

Mr French has now described his "incredible sense of guilt" when he heard his attacker had struck again just moments later.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr French said: "I was on my way home. I'd just missed the train before and I was just waiting on the platform - I just felt two hands on my back as someone pushed me towards the tracks.

"I turned around and he tried to push me again so I just pushed him to the floor and by the time I came to really after shock he was already on the tube going the other way.”

He continued: "When I heard he had attacked a second person, incredible guilt set in, because I had the opportunity to stop him at the time.”

He added: "I do think I should have stopped him or done more.”

Describing Crossley's trial, he said: "I got to see the CCTV for the first time in the court room.

"Watching my family react was very haunting for me and it really nailed home how serious and how dangerous the situation was and how close I was to being pushed in front of that train.”

He added: "One message I would send to everyone else is just make sure you are aware of what's going on around you and not be looking at your phones when you're on the edge of the platform.”

The British Transport Police said: "We could easily have been dealing with a double murder investigation had it not been for the brave actions of the public who stepped in."

Crossley was sentenced to life with a minimum of 12 years for each count of attempted murder, to run concurrently.

The judge added: "In my judgment your culpability for these offences remains high such that punishment is necessary and a hospital would not be suitable."