GCHQ spy ‘stabbed by attacker with two knives’
A KNIFEMAN tried to kill a US spy working on secondment for GCHQ because he believed she ‘represented the State’, a court was told yesterday.
Joshua Bowles, 29, is accused of following the woman and lying in wait for her outside a leisure centre in Cheltenham, where he allegedly stabbed her three times.
He is said to have targeted the victim simply because he believed she worked at GCHQ, the intelligence headquarters in Cheltenham, Westminster Magistrates Court heard.
Kathryn Selby, prosecuting, said: ‘This was a planned attack.The defendant has researched the vicof tim and her whereabouts. He has then travelled to the leisure centre, taking two knives.
‘He saw his victim enter the centre and waited outside. When she came outside he has gone up to her and attacked her with a knife.
‘We believe the defendant has selected the victim because he believed she is a worker for GCHQ and holds views on the work he believes they conduct. He attacked her because in his mind she represents the State.’
Ms Selby said the victim, known only by the code number 99230, left the leisure centre with a friend at 9.15pm on March 9 when the defendant went up to punch her.
She was hit and stabbed repeatedly in the car park before Bowles allegedly followed her into the centre when she fled inside to seek help, the court heard. He is also accused
punching bystander Alex Fuentes repeatedly after he confronted the assailant in the car park.
Staff at the leisure centre gave first aid to the victim. She underwent emergency surgery after suffering stab wounds to the abdomen, leg and chest. The victim remains in hospital in a stable condition.
Yesterday the defendant, from Cheltenham, appeared for the first time in court to face charges of the attempted murder of 99230 and assaulting Mr Fuentes, causing him actual bodily harm.
Wearing a grey prison-issue tracksuit, Bowles stood in the dock only to confirm his name, date of birth and address. He was not asked to enter any pleas to the charges.
Ms Selby said the case should be dealt with under the terrorism protocol. Craig Tickner, defending, made no application for bail.
District Judge Nina Tempia remanded Bowles in custody ahead of his next court appearance, at the Old Bailey on March 31.
Detective Chief Superintendent Olly Wright, head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East, said: ‘We believe this was an isolated incident and there is no information to suggest any wider threat to the local community.’
‘In his mind she represents the State’