Man carried out attack outside Home Office
A Birmingham man who travelled to London with a ferret in an animal carrier before slashing a Home Office worker twice with a knife has been given a hospital order with a restriction order.
Dominic Hornberger, 31, travelled to a government building at Marsham Street in the City of Westminster on August 15, 2019. He arrived outside at around 1pm and began asking people if they worked for the Home Office.
Hornberger turned his attention to a contractor with the government department, who had sat next to him and was on the phone to his wife. Hornberger attacked him with a Mora knife. He inflicted a 7-8cm deep curved laceration to his nose and a 25cm slash starting from his shoulder blade across his back.
After the attack Hornberger put the knife back in its sheath and walked away along Marsham Street. A Home Office employee called the police and, remaining on the line to the operator, followed Hornberger, who stopped at the steps of a church in Smith Square and sat down.
While sitting at the steps Hornberger posted a message on Facebook saying: “I’ve done something really stupid! Sorry everyone!”
Mental health experts agreed that Hornberger was not fit for trial and as a result a trial of facts was held at Southwark Crown Court. The jury today (21 April 2021) found he had committed the acts alleged by the prosecution.
CPS prosecutor Patricia Strobino said: “This shocking attack from a stranger without provocation has left a man with permanent scarring to his nose and back which will be a visible and daily reminder of the incident. This is a man who was simply taking a lunchtime break outside of his place of work, causing no harm to anyone. The huge emotional trauma caused both to him and to family members is something they will live with for the rest of their lives.
“The prosecution case was that Hornberger had travelled across the country with the intention of attacking individuals specifically connected to the Home Office. We do not know his reason for this, but the impact of his actions on that day in a crowded area outside a government department building struck fear into passers-by. Numerous witnesses identified him and forensic analysis connected the knife to the attack and the court has found him responsible.
“Throughout these proceedings, the CPS and police have maintained regular contact with all witnesses, keeping them abreast of progress. We hope this outcome will afford a degree of closure to them.”
Notes to editors
- Dominic Hornberger is from Birmingham
- The defendant was today made the subject of a hospital order with restriction under Ss 37 & 41 of the Mental Health Act.
- Patricia Strobino is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS London Complex Casework Unit.