Library stabbings suspect still sectioned in mental health unit seven months on

Emergency services outside the old Atherton library after last year's multiple stabbing
Emergency services outside the old Atherton library after last year's multiple stabbing
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A Wigan man arrested for attempted murder after a multiple stabbing last year remains in a secure hospital unit.

Two men and a woman were knifed during the terrifying incident at Atherton library on October 26 last year.

One of the male victims, a contract worker, was said to have been seriously injured in the shock onslaught. The two other people, who worked for Wigan Council, sustained “non-life-threatening” injuries and within a few days all three had been well enough to be discharged from hospital.

A 38-year-old suspect, arrested at the York Street premises, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Atherton councillor Martin Aldred was next door at Train Locksmiths, owned by his parents Coun Mark Aldred and wife Karen.

When the wounded woman burst into the store for help, Martin bravely ran back towards the library, despite not knowing what dangers faced him.

Karen said: “Paramedics told him that his actions, and the actions of our staff, helped to save their lives as it could have been a lot worse if the lady had not escaped to get help from us.”

Martin, 24, said: “I was only doing my bit, the real hero in all of this is the lady who was injured and escaped, if she had not been brave enough to do that the others could have been killed.”

The victims were transferring books from the old library to Atherton’s refurbished town hall when the attack took place.

A police spokeswoman confirmed the suspect remains sectioned and that those monitoring his mental health would inform investigating officers if there were any change in his condition which could then mean he might be deemed fit to face criminal charges.

Happily all three casualties have since made good recoveries.

Penny McGinty, council assistant director of corporate contracts and assets, said: “We are extremely thankful that our staff and our contractor colleague have recovered from this and have shown great resilience. We will continue to support all staff who were involved or witnessed the attack if any need arises in the future.

“We would like to thank the police and ambulance service in how they responded to the incident, along with members of the public who were nearby and showed courage and bravery to step in and assist those who were attacked.

"The Mayor of Wigan borough held an event to recognise the brave staff, contractors and others who assisted on the day.”