Related topics

London Sword Attacker Committed

June 2, 2000

LONDON (AP) _ A man who ran naked into a south London church, slashing and stabbing congregation members with a sword, was declared mentally insane Friday and committed for an indefinite period to a high-security hospital.

Ten people in the 400-member congregation were injured, including three seriously, in the November attack at St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church in Thornton Heath. One man was stabbed through the jaw into his neck.

A jury on Friday found the assailant, 26-year-old Eden Strang, guilty of attempted murder and assault. He was an unemployed computer expert who lived in the area, but was unknown to the churchgoers.

Strang, wearing a suit, showed no emotion after the verdict, only glancing toward his wife in the public gallery.

Doctors told the court that Strang had been suffering from schizophrenia for about seven years, but had not been treated. They said he was obsessed that demons were going to harm his family and thought God had told him through his computer to attack them.

Strang was subdued by a half-dozen men in the congregation, including an off-duty policeman, who wrestled him to the ground as he lashed out with the 3-foot gold and silver sword.

Update hourly