Oct 25 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
A MAN who tried to strangle three strangers enjoying a Sunday afternoon, including a child, has been sentenced.
Riccardo Talarico, 41, approached three people in Queens Park and tied pieces of string or cable round their necks after hearing voices telling him to strangle them, a court heard.
He will remain at a secure hospital after admitting three counts of intent to cause ABH (actual bodily harm) and being sentenced at Harrow Crown Court, on Friday last week.
The court heard how on Sunday, January 29, the defendant tied a mobile phone charger around the neck of a woman eating lunch in The Alice House restaurant, Salusbury Road, and pulled tight.
The cable snapped and he walked off to do the same to a young girl on the street, whose mother wrangled her free.
This was followed by an attack on a man in his 30s, who managed to slip his head under the piece of string.
None of the victims passed out.
Consultant forensic psychiatrist, Dr Nadji Kahtan, and a team of doctors, agreed Talarico suffered from psychotic depression when preparing a psychiatric report.
At the sentencing, Dr Kahtan, said: “Mr Talarico was clearly ill when he carried out these offences and he was ill afterwards.
“Since he has been in hospital he has been totally compliant with the recommendations for his treatment and makes it clear he will continue to be compliant.
“He is no longer psychotic or depressed on his current treatment.”
Talarico stood trial for six charges in September and admitted three counts of intent to cause ABH.
The prosecution offered no evidence on one count of attempting to inflict GBH and the jury cleared him on two counts of the same charge.
Judge Graham White said: “It was his intention that was an issue.
“He tried to strangle three people and the jury decided he needed to be punished for that.”
He told Talarico: “You said the voices told you to strangle those people.”
Defending, Tim Forster, said: “To say he tried to strangle people is not quite right in the findings of the jury. He put things round people’s necks but never caused them to black out. No one suffered serious harm.
“The court has to consider the risk of serious harm. There is a risk he may cause harm in the future but to say he poses a serious risk, I wouldn’t say he would.”
Talarico, of no fixed abode, sat in the dock with an interpreter who spoke Tigrinya, a language common to Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Judge White made a restriction order, meaning that a team of doctors will decide when it is appropriate for him to be released, but Dr Kahtan did not believe this would happen in the next six months.