A man who carried out a series of random attacks on children, including slitting the throat of a 10-year-old boy, has been jailed for life.
Evil Carlos Vinodchandra Racitalal, 33, targeted his victims in unprovoked attacks around Leicester at the beginning of the year.
Racitalal also drove into a five-year-old girl as she waited for her mother. The young victim was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
He then went on to stab a mother from behind, who was walking with her two young children.
During the trial, the presiding judge said that the ten-year-old victim “came within millimetres of death”.
Police had received a report at around 5.30 pm on Saturday 18 January this year that a 10-year-old boy had been stabbed in Belper Street, Leicester.
The boy, who had been in the street, saving a parking space for his mum, described being grabbed by a man who then attacked him before running off.
The boy suffered a serious and life-threatening slash wound to his neck and was taken to hospital where he underwent life-saving surgery.
He was discharged from hospital two days later.
A large scale investigation was launched by Leicestershire Police, including speaking with the victim and the victim’s family.
Officers also carried out CCTV analysis, forensic examination, house-to-house enquiries and issued an urgent public appeal for information.
During these enquiries, the suspect was further linked to two other incidents which involved similar circumstances.
One of these incidents happened on 14 January this year in Doncaster Road.
A woman, in her 30s, had been walking along the road at around 7.30 pm with two young children.
She reported feeling something sharp to the back of her head.
She described seeing a person holding a knife, with a yellow handle, and that the person had then ran away after carrying out the attack.
The woman suffered a slash wound to her head.
The second incident happened on 16th January in Dean Road, Leicester.
A man, in his 70s, was walking along the road when he reported being hit to the head by a person who then ran away.
The victim suffered a slash wound to the back of his head as well as slash wounds to his hand.
With the links being established and following additional CCTV analysis, an image of the defendant was released to the public on 20th January as part of a further public appeal.
This led to the defendant identifying himself at Mansfield House police station a few hours later where he was arrested.
The defendant was carrying a rucksack at the time of his arrest, which was the same as one seen in CCTV images from the incidents.
Enquiries into the defendant, after he was arrested, then linked him to a fourth incident which had happened in a car park in Exploration Drive, Leicester, just after 11.30 am on 2nd January.
A five-year-old girl was hit from behind by a car which then left the scene.
The girl was taken to hospital following the collision after suffering injuries including a broken nose, cuts and bruises.
The car involved in the collision had been linked to the defendant at the time of the incident, and the defendant had previously been spoken to by police in connection with the collision during which he had denied being responsible.
The vehicle had been forensically seized, and enquiries were ongoing.
Following the evidence gathered concerning the other reported incidents, Racitalal was further questioned in relation to the incident in Exploration Drive.
During an interview following his arrest on 20th January, Racitalal denied being responsible for any of the incidents, denied being in contact with any of the victims and denied having a knife.
A search was carried out in the defendant’s bedroom which led to a large kitchen knife, which was wrapped in a pillowcase, being found in the bed while a yellow handled Stanley-style knife was also found in a box on the bed.
Racitalal was charged with all the offences and remanded into custody.
Detective Inspector Tim Lindley said:
“This was an extremely complex investigation with very distressing circumstances.
“Racitalal is an extremely dangerous man who had no concern, regard or remorse for any of his victims, who ranged from young children to an elderly man. Racitalal carried out his attacks with weapons including knives and a car, before then running away or driving off from the scene.
“The dedication and commitment of officers and staff both in the investigative team and across force led to these incidents being linked.
“The team then worked tirelessly around the clock determined to gather the evidence and find the person responsible.
“My thoughts and thanks are with the victims of these attacks, for their bravery, patience and co-operation during an extremely traumatic time.
“I hope this court result helps in some small way as they continue to move forward in their lives. “
Racitalal, formerly of Finsbury Road, was convicted of attempted murder on Thursday and sentenced earlier to 21 years in prison at Leicester Crown Court.
Judge Mr Justice Thomas Linden QC said the offences “clearly demonstrate” he was dangerous.
He told Racitalal : “You armed yourself with a weapon in at least three of these cases, went out and identified vulnerable members of the public to attack.”
The judge added:
“Your attacks were random in the sense they were, without any reason, still less provocation.
“It is also clear that your methods were likely to result in death as you intended, or very serious injury.
“It was only through luck rather then judgement that you did not achieve your objectives.”
“You are one of the more frightening types of offender from the point of view of the public, and particularly vulnerable members of the public, in that they will have no inkling of what is about to happen and therefore no opportunity to take evasive action.
“An additional concern is your apparent lack of insight into what you have done.”
Mr Justice Linden added a psychiatric report of Racitalal was “unable to identify any psychiatric or other disorder which accounts for your actions or your professed inability to recall the attacks”.
Officers involved in the police investigation were also commended during the sentencing by the judge for their work.
Mr Justice Linden told the court:
“I wholeheartedly agree that the work of the police in this case in keeping the public safe is to be commended.
“What has struck me about this case: had there not been such a thorough and prompt police investigation, particularly regarding the work done in relation to the CCTV, the defendant would most likely still be at large – as his victims were unable to identify their attacker.
“In all likelihood the thoroughness of the police work on the CCTV is likely the basis upon which the jury have convicted.”
Andrew Baxter from the Crown Prosecution Service said:
“This was a series of senseless, unprovoked attacks targeting elderly people and young children.
“The level of violence used is deeply disturbing and is one of the most shocking cases I have overseen for some time. Each one of these victims has been through a terrifying ordeal and it is down to fortune and the intervention of others nearby that all of them survived.”
Racitalal was found guilty of four counts of attempted murder and one count of causing grievous bodily harm.
Jurors also convicted him of three counts of possession of a bladed article, one of attempted grievous bodily harm and one of dangerous driving.
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