Woman shouted ‘kill, kill, kill’ as she stabbed one man and tried to attack another at South Yorkshire market square, jury told

A woman with paranoid schizophrenia stabbed one man and tried to attack another as she ran around a busy South Yorkshire market square brandishing a large kitchen knife and shouting “kill, kill, kill”, a court has heard.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 5:55 pm
Updated Friday, 31st May 2019, 3:12 pm

Ayaan Ali, 29, stabbed Andrew Froggatt in the centre of Barnsley minutes after arriving in the South Yorkshire town's transport interchange and buying a pack of knives from a Quality Save store, a jury was told.

Prosecutors said witnesses saw Ali running around the market stalls shouting “kill, kill, kill” before she “set her sights” on Mr Frogatt, who was walking through the town centre intending to get a key cut.

In a video interview played to Sheffield Crown Court, Mr Froggatt described how he saw a woman wearing a headscarf and Muslim clothes before he felt an impact on his shoulder.

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He said he turned and saw the same woman with a large carving knife, he thought was about 12 inches (30cm) long.

Mr Froggatt said: “She was brandishing the knife and going 'kill, kill, kill’.

“That's all she said: 'Kill, kill, kill’.”

He told interviewing detectives she moved towards him and ‘all the time she was looking at me – 'kill, kill, kill - kill, kill, kill’.

Mr Froggatt described how she then chased him for about 100m through the town centre. He said he later found he had suffered a small puncture wound to his left shoulder.

Prosecutor, Kate Batty, told the jury of four women and eight men how, after Ali stopped chasing Mr Froggatt, she appeared by the market stalls again where she turned her attention to window cleaner Mark Watson.

The prosecutor said Ali told Mr Watson: “You're a male prostitute, I'm going to kill you”.

At this point Ali ‘tried unsuccessfully to stab him’ but Mr Watson managed to avoid injury by entangling his attacker in a market stall tarpaulin and using his window bucket to defend himself.

She read a statement from bank worker Kaye Asquith who described frantically trying to shut the automatic doors when she saw Ali coming towards her brandishing a knife as she opened her branch.

Ms Asquith said she was ‘absolutely terrified’ and said: “She was attacking people at random”.

The witness said: “When she was running around Peel Square I could hear her shouting 'kill, kill, kill' and also muttering in a foreign language.”

The prosecutor said market inspectors confirmed Ali was asking where to buy knives within moments of arriving in the town centre at around 8am on Saturday September 8, last year, and was seen soon after grappling with plastic packaging over a bin.

She was later arrested at the transport interchange around 30 minutes after she arrived in the town centre.

Ali went on trial on Thursday at Sheffield Crown Court accused of attempted murder, possession of an offensive weapon and affray. She denies all the charges.

Judge Peter Kelson QC told the jury there was no dispute that it was Ali with the knife in the square.

He said the issue for them to decide was ‘about the defence of insanity’.

Mrs Batty said the question for jury was whether Ali knew what she was doing and also whether she knew what she was doing was wrong.

Ali, from Isleworth, London, appeared by videolink for the trial, which is expected to last until early next week.

Mrs Batty explained to the jury that is was agreed Ali was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and explained that she is currently a hospital in-patient.

The trial continues.