Schizophrenic 'tried to kill women' by pushing them onto Tube track

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A paranoid schizophrenic tried to kill two women within a few minutes of each other by pushing them onto the electric rails of the London Underground, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

A paranoid schizophrenic tried to kill two women within a few minutes of each other by pushing them onto the electric rails of the London Underground, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

Christopher Studders attacked the women while on day release from a mental hospital. Just hours before the attack, magistrates had freed him on bail after he appeared in court for throwing a stone through a window. Studders had told police officers that he would commit another offence if he was released by the court. The two women wept as they told Old Bailey how Studders, 40, pushed them on to the tracks at Euston underground station in May last year. He picked them out after catching a train from Birmingham. Studders' first victim, Christine Goldsmith, an architect, narrowly escaped death because she did not touch a live and earth track together when Studders pushed her off the platform. A Tube train was just minutes away.

Ms Goldsmith, 33, told the court: "I was walking along the platform, not in any hurry. "I was aware of a force on my back and I then felt myself falling onto the tracks for the trains. I was aware that I could be run over by a train or I could be electrocuted. It was just panic that I was in a dangerous place. I was covered in soot from the tracks and my shoes were twisted. I made my way to the edge of the platform. I got back up on my own. I was very, very shocked and I was physically trembling."

When a fellow passenger shouted at Studders: "What are you trying to do? Are you trying to kill her?", he calmly replied: "Yes, I am trying to kill her."

Studders then walked to the northbound line and tried to push Tamlyn Monson, a production assistant, onto the tracks. She teetered on the edge of the platform but managed to regain her balance.

Ms Monson, 33, told the jury: "I turned to see who it was who had pushed me. It was a man who was in a crouched position two or three metres away with slightly bent arms. He was looking at me and his eyes had a very wild look. He didn't seem to know what to do next."

Passengers grabbed Studders and pinned him to the ground. Police were called and he was arrested. Stephen Pender, who witnessed both attacks, said: "It was like a nightmare. He kept smiling. He did not give a damn."

Studder denies two charges of attempted murder but has pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering the safety of a passenger. The court heard that, hours before the attacks in May last year, magistrates in Stafford had released Studders on bail, despite objections from the police.

Studders, who has suffered from paranoid schizophrenia since 1995 and has been put in hospital a number of times, was on day release from St Luke's Hospital in Muswell Hill, north London, where he had been treated for a month on a voluntary basis.

He had failed to return to the hospital on the night before the Tube attacks and had travelled to his home town of Stafford, where he threw a stone through a window. When arrested, he lied to police about having a mental illness but told them he would commit another offence if he was released.

The trial continues.