A knifeman who stabbed five people in a Manchester shopping centre after buying a £1.50 blade in his local shop is to be detained in hospital indefinitely.

Shoppers ran for their lives and dived for cover when Raphael Chevelleau caused "widespread panic" in Manchester Arndale in October 2019.

Raphael Chevelleau, 43, wounded three people and attempted to wound two others at the centre on 11 October 2019.

chevelleau pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts of wounding with intent and two of attempted wounding.

the regular cannabis user suffers from a schizophrenic illness which has been resistant to treatment.

he was admitted to hospital in 2006 for psychiatric illness, while his mother said he was diagnosed in prison with schizophrenia when he was 21.

During the sentencing hearing, which began on Friday, the court was told Chevelleau bought a kitchen knife on the morning of the attack from Blackley Pound Store near his flat in Rochdale Road, Blackley, then caught a bus into the city.

'Smiling' Manchester knifeman Raphael Chevelleau, 43, launched a violent stabbing spree that lasted just over a minute in Manchester's Arndale shopping centre

"With no warning he broke into a run, wielding the knife and randomly stabbed five members of the public," prosecutor Andrew Ford said.

"he caused widespread fear and panic among the general public visiting the arndale centre that day and a sense of pandemonium as people fled."

Chevelleau dumped the knife in a waste bin in the street after his violent spree lasting just one minute and 27 seconds.

his first victim was a 61-year-old engineer, who chevelleau stabbed in the back, before he then attacked a 35-year-old woman walking with her husband who was grazed.

Schizophrenic Raphael Chevelleau entered the Arndale shopping centre in Manchester at about 11.05am and shortly after went into a baby-change room, where he unwrapped the knife packaging and left with the stainless steel chef's knife in his jacket pocket

The woman later recalled how Chevelleau had a "wide cheesy smile" as he attacked her.

he also targeted a 45-year-old woman pushing her baby in a pram- who had a lucky escape as the knife came close to her ribs.

chevelleau also stabbed a 21-year-old woman from ireland with friends for an 18th birthday celebration, in her right shoulder and right bicep.

In a statement, she said : "The man was looking right through me and looking as if he really wanted to hurt me."

Chilling CCTV footage from Blackley Pound Store in Rochdale captures the moment Chevelleau (pictured above with the knife on the counter) calmly purchased the £1.50 blade he used during a random rampage that saw him stab five people

he attacked his final victim, a 52-year-old female department store worker, as he ran out of the arndale.

Mr Ford said only the layers of her clothing, including a bubble coat, meant she was not more seriously wounded.

consultant forensic psychiatrist martin lock told the court he thought it was "highly unlikely" chevelleau would have committed the offences if he had not been suffering from schizophrenia.

He said there was "a wealth of evidence" that- unknown to medical practitioners and family members- his mental state deteriorated ahead of the stabbings.

the judge said that if chevelleau did not suffer from mental health problems, he would have received a life sentence with a minimum term of 15 years.

As police approached he shouted : "I'm doing this for my people, it's political.

Nick Price, head of the CPS Counter-Terrorism Division, said : "This was a shocking and unprovoked attack and our thoughts remain with the victims and those directly affected by the actions of Chevelleau.

"I am pleased that he has taken responsibility for his actions through his guilty pleas and that the victims and other witnesses who have provided statements were not required to give evidence in court.

"The sentence imposed by the court today reflects the seriousness of Chevelleau's actions and the level of danger he poses to the public."

Manchester Crown Court heard he entered the Arndale at about 11.05am and shortly after went into a baby-change room, where he unwrapped the knife packaging and left with the stainless steel chef's knife in his jacket pocket.

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