Man, 29, jailed for life after stabbing rough sleeper in neck near Liverpool Street station

  • Body-worn footage capturing the moment Egidijus Kotovas was arrested by police on 25 August 2022

A 29-year-old man has been jailed for life after stabbing a rough sleeper in the neck.

Egidijus Kotovas, of Odvar Solbergs vei, Oslo, Norway, attacked Izet Mehmed, who was homeless at the time and sleeping in a doorway near Liverpool Street station.

Kotovas was jailed for life at Southwark Crown Court after he was found guilty of attempted murder and two counts of possession of a bladed weapon.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with minimum term of 14 years and 242 days. Kotovas will then be subject to licence conditions for the rest of his life.

At around 4.10am on August 24, 2022, Mr Mehmed was sleeping on cardboard in a doorway in Blomfield Street when Kotovas stabbed him in the neck.

  • CCTV showing the moment Egidijus Kotovas stabbed Izet Mehmed in a doorway. Mr Mehmed later appears holding his neck and walking towards Liverpool Street station

Mr Mehmed stumbled from the scene of the crime, trying to find help and was found by two police officers lying face down outside a cafe on Bishopsgate with serious injuries to his neck.

The officers administered first aid before London Ambulance Service and London Air Ambulance arrived. Mr Mehmed was then rushed to the Royal London Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

During the police investigation, CCTV was found showing Kotovas wiping the blade of a knife on some cardboard before he fled the scene.

Minutes after the assault, he returned to where the attack happened on his bike and then went on to cycle out of the City.

Within 24 hours of the attack, officers arrested Kotovas when he was spotted at around 2.00am on August 25, 2022, once again at the scene of the crime on his bike and was then seen cycling north on Bishopsgate. Kotovas was charged the following day.

The victim was sleeping in a doorway close to London's Liverpool Street station. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Halkett, at the City of London Police, said: “This horrific incident kept me awake, as without doubt had he not been caught, Kovotas would have gone on to attack more vulnerable victims.

“The quick apprehension of Kovotas within 24 hours was down to diligent and meticulous work by our officers. Through DNA profiling and an overwhelming amount of evidence, we were able to secure this conviction and put this highly dangerous individual behind bars.

“This was a savage and unprovoked attack on a vulnerable member of the public. I would also like to praise the quick response from our officers first at the scene, who administered immediate first aid, preventing this from being a murder investigation.”

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Community and Children’s Services Committee, Ruby Syed, said: "This was a frightening attack on someone who was already vulnerable. I am however pleased that the victim has made a full recovery and that the offender has been sentenced.

“We are absolutely committed to addressing the root causes of homelessness and supporting rough sleepers into safe, long-term accommodation.

"Our Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Sub Committee is driving this work, and we aim to ensure that people who arrive on City streets spend no more than one night out.”

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