‘Ferocious’ knife attack killed random stranger in Oxford Street, court hears

‘Ferocious’ knife attack killed random stranger in Oxford Street, court hears

A day-tripper has killed a complete stranger in a “ferocious” knife attack on London’s busy Oxford Street, a court has heard.

27-year-old Tedi Fanta reportedly pulled out a blade and jumped on 60-year-old Stephen Dempsey from behind just before 8 p.m. on July 1, 2021.

Two passing skateboarders jumped into action, hitting the accused with their boards to disarm him, the Old Bailey was told.

They then helped restrain the attacker until armed police arrived while other members of the public tended to the victim, the jury heard.

When police arrived, the accused was found to be speaking “incoherently” and had a head injury from being hit with a skateboard, which was being examined at the hospital.

Mr Dempsey had sustained four knife wounds and died later that night in hospital from a stab wound to the chest.

The jury was shown vivid CCTV footage of the attack outside the Microsoft Store in the heart of London’s shopping district.

Prosecutor Caroline Carberry KC spoke of a “furious and deadly attack”.

She told the jury there was no doubt Fanta was the person who attacked Mr Dempsey.

She said: “He is seen carrying out a wild, random and unprovoked attack on a helpless and unsuspecting member of the public.

“His victim could have been anyone in close proximity to him in central London during the day. To the chagrin of Stephen Dempsey and his family, he was.”

That morning, Fanta had allegedly armed himself and boarded a train bound for London from Swansea in South Wales, where he was living at the time.

His Great Western Railway train arrived at Paddington Station just before 9am.

Just after 2pm, the defendant, dressed in combat trousers and a red top, appeared at the Ethiopian Embassy on Kensington Road before making his way to Oxford Street at around 4.40pm.

Ms Carberry said: “He was captured by CCTV outside the Microsoft Store at 7.58pm.

“As Mr. Dempsey walked past the Microsoft store and the defendant, the defendant pulled a knife from his pocket, approached Mr. Dempsey and attacked him from behind with the knife.

“The attack started on the sidewalk but spread to the street.”

She said Fanta repeatedly stabbed Mr Dempsey as the skateboarders tried to stop him.

The jury was told: “Mr Dempsey didn’t stand a chance. He couldn’t resist. He was unarmed and was attacked from behind.

“You will hear the testimonies of some of those members of the public who witnessed what happened and who valiantly tried to stop it.”

Fanta was charged with murder and possession of a bladed object.

Ms Carberry said the jury did not need to find his guilt because he was found unfit to stand trial, only whether they were certain he committed the acts allegedly committed.

The factual trial at the Old Bailey continues.

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