A violent criminal has been found guilty of trying to kill two children and two adults in unprovoked stabbings in Leicester.
Carlos Racitalal was said to have carried out the attempted murders in the Belgrave area of the city in a “calculated and deliberate” manner.
On Thursday at Leicester Crown Court a jury of eight women and four men found him guilty on all counts unanimously, on the ninth day of the trial.
He was also convicted of three offences of possessing knives in public, relating to the three brutal stabbings in the Belgrave area of the city.
Dressed in a grey tracksuit, bearded Racitalal remained seated in the dock and showed no emotion as the guilty verdicts were announced, and then translated to him by a Portuguese interpreter.
The 33-year-old denied the offences, all committed between January 2 and 18 this year.
Formerly of Finsbury Road, Belgrave, Racitalal did not give evidence in his own defence in court, but insisted throughout his police interviews that he was innocent.
Relatives of some of the victims sat in the public gallery and maintained a dignified silence as the verdicts were announced.
High court judge, Mr Justice Linden, adjourned the hearing until this afternoon, for pre-sentence mitigation and victim impact statements to be read.
He is due to be sentenced on Friday.
During the trial, the jury heard how a five-year-old girl was struck from behind, in a city supermarket car park, as she held her grandfather’s hand.
A 10-year-old boy had a 10 centimetre slash wound across his neck and needed emergency surgery.
A mother in her 30s was also knifed on the head as she walked home with her children, aged three and six.
And a man in his 70s was repeatedly slashed in the street, losing a substantial amount of blood.
Hit and run The incident involving the little girl was at about 11.30am on Thursday January 2 as the defendant was driving a black Vauxhall Corsa out of the car park of Asda, on Exploration Road, near Abbey Lane.
Racitalal was said to have been going “too fast,” at about 20mph, in the wrong lane.
The girl was suddenly “wrenched” from her granddad’s left hand when struck from behind.
She was “launched mid air” and landed face down.
Her shocked grandfather “feared the worst” and thought she was dead.
The prosecutor, Christopher Donnellan QC said: “Fortunately she cried and he was able to see she was still alive.” Racitalal drove off despite a supermarket employee banging on his car, trying to stop him.
The child went to hospital with facial injuries.
Doncaster Road On Tuesday January 14, a mother was walking along the street with her six-year-old son, pushing her three-year-old child in a buggy.
She felt a blow on the back of her head and saw someone holding a yellow-handled knife with a silver blade which had been used to stab her on the head.
“Mercifully her injuries weren’t life threatening but she was taken to hospital for treatment,” said Mr Donnellan.
Dean Road A 77-year-old man was “brutally” attacked as he walked along Dean Road on Thursday January 16.
The defendant used a large kitchen knife to attack him, striking him repeatedly on the head causing wounds leaving him drenched in blood and needing multiple stitches.
Belper Street On Saturday January 18, a mother was parking her car while her 10-year-old son was on the pavement, at just after 5pm.
The defendant approached, put one hand on the boy’s shoulder and drew the knife across his neck, cutting it open, leaving a 10 centimetre gash, cutting into the muscle below the skin.
Fortunately none of the major blood vessels were severed and it did not prove fatal.
He was treated at the scene, taken to hospital where he underwent surgery.
‘Defenceless’ victims Mr Donnellan said: “On each occasion he launched unprovoked attacks to either a child or an adult – each was defenceless.” He said they were lucky to survive and any motive was unknown.
Of the stab assaults, the prosecutor said they had “all the hallmarks of a brutal commando type killings we see in the movies, being attacked (silently) from behind.
“The lack of success on each occasion doesn’t affect his intention.”.