A former GCHQ employee has admitted making an attempt to homicide a US spy with two knives at a leisure centre.
Joshua Bowles, 29, pleaded responsible on the Old Bailey on Wednesday to punching and stabbing the lady some three miles from the UK intelligence company’s Cheltenham base on March 9.
Bowles, of Welwyn Mews, Cheltenham, cited the sufferer working at GCHQ as a motive for his assault, Gloucestershire Police has mentioned.
The court docket heard that the lady, who’s referred to in fees solely by the code quantity 99230, was employed by the United States Government and was stationed at GCHQ on the time of the incident.
Prosecutors informed the court docket Bowles had additionally been an worker at GCHQ and he had researched the sufferer and different US nationals who labored on the website, however he was not working there on the time of the assault.
During Bowles’s first look at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, prosecutor Kathryn Selby mentioned the case, which she mentioned concerned a “planned attack”, needs to be handled beneath the terrorism protocol.
She informed the court docket: “The defendant has selected the victim because he believed she is a worker for GCHQ and holds views on the work he believes they conduct.
“He attacked the victim because, in his mind, she represents the state.”
Bowles was charged with tried homicide, in addition to assaulting a person, inflicting him precise bodily hurt, following an investigation by counter-terror police.
He was armed with two knives when he launched the assault at about 9.15pm as the lady left the leisure centre, in Tommy Taylors Lane, with a buddy.
The sufferer had been collaborating in a netball sport on the leisure centre and Bowles tried to stab her within the automobile park, earlier than she fled together with her buddy again into the constructing.
Bowles adopted them and he attacked the sufferer once more inside with one of many knives, earlier than she escaped onto a netball court docket.
The sufferer was taken to hospital after struggling a number of stab accidents within the assault.
Bowles additionally punched a person named Alex Fuentes after being confronted within the automobile park, the court docket heard.
Following the listening to on Wednesday, Nick Price, head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, mentioned: “This extremely violent attack against two innocent people was completely unprovoked.
“It is right that those who commit violent crimes like this should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law to protect the public and our thoughts continue to be with the victims and their families.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Olly Wright, head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE), mentioned: “This was a violent and unprovoked attack on two innocent victims.
“Through our extensive and thorough investigation, it is clear that Bowles had selected his victim because of where she worked.”
Mr Wright mentioned Bowles pleading responsible will “thankfully spare the victims from having to go through the traumatic process of reliving the events of that day through the trial process”.
Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb informed Bowles she hoped he will probably be sentenced earlier than the tip of October.
When questioned concerning the case, GCHQ mentioned it might be inappropriate to touch upon dwell authorized proceedings.