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Teenager pleads guilty to stabbing U.S. tourist to death in London

LONDON (Reuters) - A teenager who suffered from mental health issues pleaded guilty on Monday to killing a U.S. tourist during a stabbing rampage in London last August.

Zakaria Bulhan, 19, a Norwegian of Somali origin who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, killed retired teacher Darlene Horton, 64, and wounded five others during the knife attack in London's Russell Square.

Horton was on holiday in the British capital with her husband Richard Wagner, an eminent psychology professor at Florida State University, when she was killed. The injured victims included an American, two Australians and an 18-year-old Israeli woman.

Bulhan had been due to go on trial accused of murder and attempted murder, but prosecutors accepted his admission of manslaughter and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

"We have considered expert evidence from both prosecution and defense psychiatrists who have concluded that Bulhan was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and experiencing a psychotic episode at the time," prosecutor Malcolm McHaffie said.

Det. Insp. Tony Lynes said the incident had sparked huge fears because of concern it was linked to terrorism.

"This was quickly found not to be the case and we now know Bulhan was suffering a severe episode of mental health," Lynes said. "He clearly poses an enormous risk to the general public and I hope he can now get the help he needs."

Bulhan will be sentenced on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)

 

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