Man who killed Ali Abucar Ali likely to spend rest of his life in mental hospital

Images above: Ali Abucar Ali; Betty Walsh

 Norris Henry court order

The man who killed Ali Abucar Ali, the 20-year-old from Brentford who was fatally stabbed in the street in November 2021, is likely to spend the rest of his life in a mental hospital following a disposal hearing at the Old Bailey on Tuesday (6 June).

Norris Henry was detained under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983. A Section 41 Restriction Order was imposed on the same day.

The order is without a time limit and may mean he will remain in hospital for the rest of his life. If he ever gets better, the Metropolitan Police say he may face a murder and attempted murder trial.

On Thursday 13 April, at the same court, Henry was determined responsible for the murder of Ali Abucar Ali, 20, and the attempted murder of Betty Walsh, a woman in her 80s.

The trial was not a criminal proceedings, rather a determination of the facts due to Henry’s mental health. He has not been found guilty of any criminal offence, as he was unfit to plead, but a jury found that he did the ‘act’.

“A really sad case”

On the evening of 12 November 2021, Norris Henry was walking along Albany Road, Brentford, when he brandished a knife and stabbed Betty. She has since made a full physical recovery but her quality of life has been affected by fear of going out now.

After he had stabbed her, Henry walked further along the road and stabbed Ali Abucar Ali. Ali died soon after as a result of his injuries. A large scale police operation was launched and officers  found Henry wandering the streets in the hours after the attacks. He was subsequently charged with murder and attempted murder.

After his arrest, psychiatrists determined that Henry was suffering from treatment resistant paranoid schizophrenia and was not fit to make a plea or to stand trial as a result of his mental illness. He therefore faced a trial of the facts where the jury found that Henry committed the acts of stabbing both victims.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Brian Howie, from Specialist Crime, said:

“This is a really sad case where the unprovoked and completely random knife attacks destroyed the lives of two families. Mr Ali’s family will feel his loss every day for the rest of their lives. The other victim endured a traumatic experience which she and her family continue to struggle with.

“We thank the surviving victim and the families of those involved for their patience throughout this investigation and court case and those people who helped both people on the night of the attacks. Their courage and resilience has been an inspiration.”