Man ‘tried to kill woman because he thought she was a spy’

Joshua Bowles is accused of attempted murder and punching a man who tried to intervene

A man tried to stab a woman to death in a leisure centre car park because he believed she was a spy working for GCHQ, a court has heard.

Joshua Bowles, 29, has been charged with attempted murder over the incident in Cheltenham on 9 March.

He was not asked to enter a plea during a brief appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

 The court heard that Mr Bowles researched his victim and her whereabouts “believing her to work for GCHQ”, Britain’s signals intelligence and cyber security agency.

He allegedly attacked her as she left the leisure centre, punching and stabbing her several times. She required emergency surgery and remains in the hospital.

Prosecutor Kathryn Selby said Mr Bowles “holds views on the work” he believes GCHQ to conduct, and that in his mind his victim “represents the state”.

Mr Bowles is also charged with actual bodily harm after allegedly punching a man who tried to intervene.

The defendant, of the Up Hatherley suburb of Cheltenham, was remanded in custody ahead of a hearing at the Old Bailey on 31 March. – Independent

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