Jail for man who stabbed five homeless people in 'random' Manchester city centre attack

The moment McLoughlin stabs five vulnerable men who were begging on the streets.

Terrifying CCTV footage has been released of a man who caused terror in Manchester city centre when he randomly stabbed five homeless people.

Kieran McLoughlin, who has been jailed for 23 years, slashed four men across the face and another to the back during a 10-minute spree across Piccadilly Gardens and Market Street.The stabbings were thought to be a terrorist attack, but Manchester Crown Court heard they were targeted attacks against vulnerable men who were begging on the streets.The 32-year-old was tasered by police at Market Street tram stop, when members of the public had confronted him.

Market Street in Manchester city centre. Credit: MEN Media

After being arrested, McLoughlin claimed to not have issues with homeless people, but said they "should be getting off their a*** to do work".A judge described the attacks as a 'short but vicious campaign of cruel, cold, calculated, and targeted violence'.Now McLoughlin, who refused to attend his sentencing hearing, has been sentenced to 18 years in jail, and given an extra five-year period on licence when he is released.All five victims were on the streets at about 6pm on Sunday, 12 January last year.Manchester Crown Court heard the first attack happened on Parker Street near Piccadilly bus station, as he attacked a man who was standing begging.McLoughlin slashed him to the face, causing a 15cm wound. He then calmly walked towards Greggs on Market Street, where two homeless men were sitting.

Tommy Dennison was slashed on his face. Credit: MEN Media

McLoughlin then moved towards Primark, where he stabbed Tommy Dennison. Before this, he snatched a cup which another homeless man had been using to collect money, and said 'payback's a b****'.As he lent down and pretended to give Mr Dennison some money, McLoughlin also slashed him to the face. McLoughlin then slashed another homeless man to the face as he was leaning against a bin near Debenhams.After his fourth knife attack, McLoughlin walked onto the Market Street tram stop, and sat down on a bench for a few seconds, before stabbing a fifth homeless man in the back.

He then climbed back onto the stop, and got on a tram. But a group crowded around him, and a member of the public filmed him.Police stopped the tram from leaving, and moments later plain clothes officers took McLoughlin to the ground and Tasered him.

Prosecuting, Andy Evans said: "This incident took place at a time of heightened fear and security following a terrorist atrocity in the city two years earlier.

"The victims were highly vulnerable, homeless men begging, all attacked without warning, the majority whilst looking in the other direction."There was clear targeting of homeless men."The wounds caused were shocking, and were caused in full view of the hundreds of people, including children, present at the scene."

After being arrested, McLoughlin said it was a case of mistaken identity and claimed he didn't have any issues with homeless people.McLoughlin said he had been 'chilling' with friends and smoking cannabis prior to the stabbings, but claimed he was 'sober as a judge'.But a jury found him of guilty of five counts of wounding with intent following a trial nearly a year ago.Sentencing, Judge Timothy Smith said: "Kieran McLoughlin embarked on what was a short but vicious campaign of cruel, cold, calculated, and targeted violence against these five vulnerable men, a campaign that was as motiveless and mindless as it was malicious and malignant."There was clearly some wider impact on the public, who were justifiably concerned for their own safety in what was reported as random knife attacks, all happening at a time of heightened fears for terrorist attacks."McLoughlin, who has 115 previous offences in Ireland, and a further 25 in the UK, has shown no remorse for his crimes, the judge added.Defending, Paul Treble said McLoughlin was living a chaotic lifestyle, and had mental health problems.But the judge said they played no part in his offending, and were not serious enough to warrant him being detained in hospital rather than prison.McLoughlin will have to serve two-thirds of the 18 year sentence before the Parole Board decide whether it is safe to release him.