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London knife attack accused fronts court

Press AssociationPress Association 6/08/2016

A teenager charged with carrying out a knife attack in London which left an American tourist dead and five people injured, including two Australians, has been remanded in custody after appearing in court.

Zakaria Bulhan, 19, is accused of murdering retired American teacher Darlene Horton, 64, at Russell Square in central London on Wednesday evening.

British police have said they found no evidence that terrorism was a motive and the suspect had a history of mental illness.

Horton, the wife of a university professor from Florida, was just hours away from flying home when she was killed.

The mother-of-two was visiting London with husband Richard Wagner, who was teaching summer classes. The couple had planned to return to their home in Tallahassee on Thursday.

Bulhan is also charged with the attempted murder of Lillie Selletin, David Imber, Bernard Hepplewhite, Martin Hoenisch and Yovel Lewronski, who were all injured in the same attack.

Hoenisch, a retired fireman from Las Vegas, was visiting London with his wife, Laurie Kelly, when he was injured in the attack.

He said on Facebook: "Thanks to everyone for reaching out, we're still very saddened about the woman who was killed.

"Very unreal experience but we are still having an unbelievable time over here."

Lewronski, 18, was visiting London from Tel Aviv and was stabbed in the upper arm.

She said on Facebook she did not know whether to call it "luck or fate" that she escaped death, adding that she had watched as Horton "perished in front of my eyes".

Selletin, an Australian national, was injured in the back during the attack along with Imber and Hepplewhite.

The two injured Australians, including a man injured in the chest, had asked that their privacy be respected.

Another Australian woman witnessed the attack but was not hurt.

Four of the injured were released from hospital shortly after being treated for their wounds apart from a British man who remains in a "serious but stable" condition after suffering a stab wound to his stomach.

Australia's High Commissioner in London, Alexander Downer, tweeted that he had visited two of the Australians involved and they were "doing well". He praised London's Metropolitan Police and the staff at Royal London Hospital.

Bulhan, a Norwegian national of Somali origin who moved to the UK in 2002 appeared before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

He stood in the dock wearing a light grey tracksuit and carrying a handful of paperwork.

The teenager mumbled his name, address and date of birth to the court.

Bulhan was unrepresented in court and sat hunched throughout the short hearing with his hand over his mouth.

He held his face in his hand as the names of the victims were read to him. When asked if he understood the charges, he nodded and gave the judge a thumbs-up gesture.

Bulhan was remanded in custody and ordered to appear at the Old Bailey on August 9.

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