Indefinite Detention for Ali Abucar Ali's Killer

Norris Henry may spend the rest of his life in a psychiatric hospital

Norris Henry
Norris Henry


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June 10, 2023

The 38-year-old man from Brentford who stabbed to death Ali Abucar Ali and seriously wounded 82-year-old grandmother Betty Walsh is to be detained indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital.

The sentence was announced on Tuesday 6 June after the consideration of medical reports. This April, a jury has been asked to make a determination of fact as to whether Henry, formerly of Brook Road South, had committed the attacks on 12 November 2021. There was no question of a guilty or not guilty verdict because he had already been determined as unfit to stand trial.

Henry was known in the area as someone who had struggled with his mental health and was due to attend a mental health assessment on the day of the attack. He has been diagnosed as suffering from treatment resistant paranoid schizophrenia.

Instead he used a 25cm knife to stab two complete strangers on Albany Road, first approaching Mrs Walsh and then the 20-year-old basketball coach who was returning home after a session coaching children at his former school in Chiswick.

Ali Abucar Ali (left) coached basketball to local children
Ali Abucar Ali (left) coached basketball to local children. Picture: Chiswick Gators

It remains unclear whether Ali was attacked completely at random or if he attempted to intervene to save Betty. As he approached Norris, his killer said, "you want it as well?", and stabbed him in the chest.

Betty Walsh's condition is no longer described as critical
Betty Walsh. Picture: Facebook

Betty Ward has recovered from her physical wounds but Ali was pronounced dead at the scene. Henry had been detained in a mental health facility since the attack.

Henry has not been found guilty of any criminal offence, as he was unfit to plead, but a jury found that he did the 'act'. If he is treated successfully he may still face a trial for murder and attempted murder.

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.”

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