Regent's Park Mosque stabbing: Man, 29, appears in court over attack

22 February 2020, 16:29 | Updated: 22 February 2020, 16:31

A 29-year-old man appeared in court charged with stabbing a prayer leader
A 29-year-old man appeared in court charged with stabbing a prayer leader. Picture: PA / sldn95
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A 29-year-old man has appeared in court charged with stabbing an Islamic prayer leader at a central London mosque.

Daniel Horton was charged with grievous bodily harm and possession of a bladed article, following an attack at Regent's Park Mosque on Thursday.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday, bearded and wearing a grey tracksuit.

The 29-year-old homeless man sat forward with his head looking down during the hearing and spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth, and his nationality as British.

Meanwhile, Raafat Maglad, 70, was pictured smiling while recovering in hospital and returned to the mosque for Friday prayers less than 24 hours after being attacked.

The man was stabbed in the neck as he delivered the call to prayer
The man was stabbed in the neck as he delivered the call to prayer. Picture: ITV

Mr Maglad, the mosque's muezzin who makes the call to prayer, suffered a 1.5cm wound to his neck following the incident, the prosecutor confirmed.

Scotland Yard is not treating the attack as terror-related, nor is it seeking any other suspects.

Prosecutor Tanyia Dogra told the court the victim and defendant were known to each other because Horton had been attending the mosque for several years.

Horton, who the court heard had been sleeping rough since last year, was remanded in custody by District Judge Nina Tempia.

He is set to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 20 March.

Witnesses explained how the suspect attacked the muezzin, who makes the call to prayer, at around 3pm.

Ayaz Ahmad, adviser to the mosque, said: "Everybody's reaction was shock and horror, the men were screaming.

"It was a vicious attack. We live in a society where we hear a lot about knife crime and what have you but actually to physically be in a situation where you're first-hand watching an attempted murder take place it's very shocking."

The prayer leader was stabbed at Regent's Park Mosque
The prayer leader was stabbed at Regent's Park Mosque. Picture: PA

Following the stabbing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "I'm deeply saddened to hear of the attack at the London Central Mosque.

"It's so awful that this should happen, especially in a place of worship. My thoughts are with the victim and all those affected."

Westminster City Council Leader Rachael Robathan said: "The motives for this attack are unclear, but one thing is absolutely clear - violence has absolutely no place in our City. Our thoughts are with the victim of this attack and his family."

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