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Pickaxe-wielding attacker, 44, took heroin before trying to murder three colleagues


A hospital maintenance worker chased his colleague through a car park with a pickaxe during a violent rampage after taking heroin, a court heard today.

Matteo Bottarelli, 44, is accused of attempting to murder three of his fellow workers at Central Middlesex Hospital in north London on June 21 last year.

Bottarelli cut one colleague’s throat with a scalpel and attacked others with a mattock, which is a pickaxe-like tool.

Trevor McGuire and Gideon Tesfay were left with serious head and neck injuries, while Mark Quigley – Bottarelli’s line manager – managed to escape unscathed, jurors at Wood Green Crown Court heard.

Bottarelli previously pleaded guilty to wounding Mr McGuire and Mr Tesfay with intent, but denied attempting to murder them and Mr Quigley.

A court artist sketch of Matteo Bottarelli appearing at Willesden Magistrates' Court in London

A court artist sketch of Matteo Bottarelli appearing at Willesden Magistrates’ Court in London

Armed police at Central Middlesex Hospital in West London after the attack

Armed police at Central Middlesex Hospital in West London after the attack

At the start of Bottarelli’s trial, prosecutor Sean Larkin showed jurors dramatic CCTV footage of Bottarelli chasing Mr Tesfay around the hospital car park.

In the video, Bottarelli, holding the weapon, charges at Mr Tesfay who attempts to evade his attacker by hiding behind cars.

Mr Larkin explained that this incident came after Bottarelli had already attacked Mr Tesfay with a scalpel.

He said: ‘Bottarelli went into the canteen area, holding the mattock. Mr Tesfay said something like, “This is a place to eat, why bring that in here?”, and Bottarelli put it down.

‘But as Mr Tesfay went to put his food in the microwave, Bottarelli put his left hand around Mr Tesfay’s neck, and raised his right hand, in which he had a scalpel. He then began to move the scalpel across Mr Tesfay’s neck.

‘Mr Tesfay managed to push him off, injuring his hand in the process, and fled to the car park. But Bottarelli followed him.

‘In the CCTV, you can see Mr Tesfay, holding his neck, trying to escape Bottarelli, who is chasing him. Bottarelli then goes back inside the hospital, still holding the mattock.’

Mr Larkin said that once back inside the hospital, Bottarelli attacked Mr McGuire, striking him on the back of the head with the mattock.

‘Bottarelli went back into the building and went up a flight of stairs, no doubt using his pass to get through a number of secure doors,’ Mr Larkin said.

‘He then went into an office, went up to another colleague who was sat at his desk, and, using the mattock, brought it down on his scalp multiple times. Mr McGuire sustained three injuries, one to the back of his head, one to his left temple, and one to his face.’

Bottarelli showed no emotion as the details of the incident were read out.

Jurors were also shown CCTV footage of Bottarelli charging at Mr Quigley with the mattock – which happened before he attacked Mr Tesfay and Mr McGuire.

Bottarelli cut one colleague's throat with a scalpel and attacked others with a mattock, which is a pickaxe-like tool

Bottarelli cut one colleague’s throat with a scalpel and attacked others with a mattock, which is a pickaxe-like tool

In the short video clip, the two colleagues first pass each other in an alleyway outside the hospital – briefly stopping to exchange a few words.

Mr Quigley then walks away, but Bottarelli runs towards Mr Quigley’s back with the mattock raised over his head, ready to strike but Mr Quigley turns around and Bottarelli stops what he is doing.

Mr Quigley, who was called as a witness, described the incident to jurors and Judge Joanna Greenberg.

He said: ‘It was around 1pm, and I had gone out for a cigarette. He approached me, but I didn’t think anything of the mattock, as he often did things like gardening for the hospital so it didn’t seem unusual.

‘He was sweating profusely, but it was a hot day. I said something like, “You’re sweating well, mate.” He didn’t say anything and we passed each other. I then heard him stop, and I thought he wanted to ask me something.

‘But as I turned around, he was coming at me with the mattock raised over his head. I said something along the lines of, “what are you doing, you daft sod?”, because I genuinely thought he was just mucking about.

‘He didn’t say anything. He just shrugged, lowered the mattock, and walked off.’

Mr Quigley also told Wood Green Crown Court that he had been Bottarelli’s line manager, and that the pair had worked together for four and a half years.

Mr Larkin, prosecuting, earlier told the court: ‘If you are using a weapon in that manner, you know what is to happen. We suggest these acts are attempted murder.

‘Bottarelli has said he didn’t have intent to kill, but if he didn’t, what was he doing? We suggest that the attacks speak for themselves.

After the rampage, Bottarelli went to his home, which was a short distance from Central Middlesex Hospital. He was later arrested by armed police, who found him covered in blood.

Mr Larkin said: ‘He had self-inflicted slashes to his own neck. It appeared that he was in the process of taking his own life.’

He added that Bottarelli confirmed to officers that he had taken heroin in the morning.

In addition to the mattock, a number of knives and scalpels were also recovered from Bottarelli’s home. The trial continues.



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