A man who used a high-powered hunting crossbow to shoot two members of the public has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order.
Both of the were completely random and unprovoked.
Andrew Ramdeen, 30, from Northwood, pleaded guilty to two counts of Grievous Bodily Harm at Isleworth Crown Court at an earlier hearing.
The conviction follows an investigation by the Trident Reactive West Team from the Metropolitan Police, who worked tirelessly to identify and track him down following the terrifying incidents.
He was sentenced in a virtual hearing at the same court last Friday (27 January), to a Hospital Order and a Restrictions Order, meaning a Home Office panel would have to agree any changes to Randeem’s detention.
The judge remarked that he considered Randeem dangerous and that, had a hospital order not been the disposal option, he would have passed a sentence of 14 years and nine months imprisonment, four of which would have been served on license.
The first incident occurred on 26 August 2020, when a 19-year-old man was walking along The Greenway, Uxbridge at around 10:25pm when a crossbow bolt sliced through his ear as it passed his head before striking a parked car.
In the initial confusion the occupant of the car, who was a minicab driver, got out to remonstrate with the victim in the mistaken belief he had fired it. When he realised the man was injured, he took him to hospital.
Fortunately, the victim’s injury was not life-threatening, but a slight variation in the course of the bolt could have been fatal.
On 14 September at 8:02pm a 33-year-old man was walking in Pield Heath Road, Hillingdon, when without warning he was shot in the torso with a crossbow bolt.
He suffered a ruptured aortic artery and punctured internal organs, losing five litres of blood.
Thankfully, he survived. The victim’s life was undoubtedly saved due to the expertise and skill of the medical staff who were in close proximity as the attack had taken place close to a hospital. Had they not been, the extent of the victim’s injuries meant he would have died.
Detectives had already been deep into their investigation when the second incident occurred and they were linked due to the location of the incidents and the weapon used.
Witnesses did not see the suspect, but they did describe seeing a white van without a registration number making off from the scene in both instances.
Forensic CCTV examination was undertaken, covering a wide geographical area. Eventually detectives pinpointed an area where the vehicle appeared to vanish.
Concentrating on this area officers uncovered a similar vehicle that appeared a few minutes later on the same route, but this time with a different registration number.
Officers worked to identify the vehicle and established that it was used as a company delivery vehicle. Enquiries with the company revealed Ramdeen as the attacker and matched his location at the time of each attack.
Though he had made a concentrated effort to evade capture by removing the license plate in both incidents, he failed to notice that the vehicle he was using had a tracking device fitted by his employer.
An urgent operation was conducted and Ramdeen was arrested by armed officers while he was driving the vehicle on 21 September 2020.
A search of his home address was conducted and officers found an Anglo Arms Panther 175lb hunting crossbow with bolts that matched those from the scenes of the attacks. Further CCTV was found showing Ramdeen entering his address with the crossbow.
He was charged and remanded in custody.
The motivation behind the attacks has never been fully established.
Detectives conducted a meticulous investigation to bring Ramdeen to justice, including computer modelling of both scenes. They established the first victim had been shot at a distance of 146ft, while the second was hit at just six feet.
Door to door enquiries, witness statements, hours of CCTV analysis and phone work, and media appeals were also conducted as part of their campaign.
Detective Inspector Daniel McInerney said: “It’s no exaggeration to say that in both instances the difference between life and death was but a matter of millimeters.
“If the variation of the bolts had been ever so slightly different, two sets of families would lost a loved one and we’d have been looking at two very different investigations. It’s pure good fortune that the second victim was so close to a hospital. The doctors and nurses saved this man’s life.
“The work of the investigative team to bring Ramdeen to justice was determined and painstaking. No stone was left unturned in the effort to find the person responsible, and the overwhelming evidence we presented left Ramdeen with no choice but to plead guilty to these horrendous attacks.
“I’m also very grateful to the victims for the support they’ve provided us after everything they’ve been through, and to members of the public who came forward to supply us with vital information that led to Ramdeen’s identification and capture.
“Though Randeem’s motive has never been established, the judge has been clear that he is considered a danger to the public and he has been sentenced appropriately.”