Solicitor, 37, who injected his own blood into food at Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose using hypodermic needles will remain in mental hospital for psychiatric assessment, judge rules

  • Leoaai Elghareeb, 37, went into three supermarkets with hypodermic needles
  • Injected food items with his own blood but was found not guilty due to insanity
  • Claimed voices including that of former PM Boris Johnson were controlling him 
  • Former lawyer will remain in hospital until October 28 under Mental Health Act 
  • Three stores on Fulham Palace Road lost around £500,000 due to damage

A former ‘Magic Circle’ lawyer who injected his own blood into food at Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose stores after hearing the voice of Boris Johnson will remain in a mental hospital for psychiatric assessment, a judge has ruled.

Leoaai Elghareeb, 37, ventured into three stores on Fulham Palace Road, west London, carrying a bucketful of hypodermic needles on August 25 last year.

The solicitor, from Fulham, jabbed products including an apple, bacon, buttermilk and Chicken Tikka fillets. He also threw a syringe at a doctor but luckily it bounced off her and she was not injured.

The incidents took place at a Sainsbury’s Local, Tesco Express and Little Waitrose – which were all forced to throw away every single product as a precaution, resulting in almost £500,000 in losses.

Elghareeb had denied three counts of contaminating goods and two counts of assault, and a jury at Isleworth Crown Court found the Lebanese lawyer not guilty by reason of insanity in May.

On Friday, Judge Alistair Hammerton extended an interim order under the Mental Health Act, meaning Elghareeb will remain in hospital until 28 October while psychiatric reports are prepared.

CCTV footage played in court showed Elghareeb entering Sainsbury’s wearing distinctive Nike shorts and an American football-style t-shirt.

Solicitor Leoaai Elghareeb, 37, who injected food with his blood at a series of supermarkets in a £500,000 rampage will remain in a mental hospital for psychiatric assessment, a judge has ruled

He then proceeds to walk over to the ready meal section as he suddenly jabs the food with a syringe.

Elghareeb then made his way to the next section, eyeing up the food products while holding what appears to be another syringe in his mouth before injecting a second food product. 

Prosecutor Diana Wilson earlier told the court how Elghareeb walked along Fulham Palace Road with his bucket of syringes filled with his blood.

‘Along the way he also threw some of the syringes at people inside and outside the store including hitting a passerby on the street.

‘As he was confronted, because of his actions, by a succession of store personnel inside the supermarkets he assaulted one of them by pushing him, in addition to throwing verbal insults at those around him.’

Elghareeb later pushed security guard Bilal Ansari in the chest shouting: ‘You are all vile people and Sainsbury’s is vile.’

After leaving, the 37-year-old then did the same in Tesco, injecting food and throwing syringes forcing staff to close the store immediately.

Elghareeb is shown on CCTV picking up a food product before allegedly injecting it inside a Sainsbury’s Local

He is accused of wandering into three stores on Fulham Palace Road carrying a bucketful of hypodermic needles as he jabbed at products, including Chicken Tikka Fillets, last August

Shortly before he was arrested, he threw a plant pot through a door, narrowly missing a waiter at Tapas bar Avanti.

The three supermarkets found a total of 21 syringes during a thorough search and deep-clean before they were able to reopen.

He was arrested just before 8pm outside a pub called The Distillers.

Ms Wilson said: ‘The stores also, inevitably, took the precaution of throwing away and destroying all their produce before reopening some days later.

‘All that cost, in respect of Waitrose, approximately £207,000, in respect of Sainsbury’s £143,000, and in respect of Tesco’s approximately £117,000. So nearly half a million pounds worth of loss to those three businesses.’

Dr Meghana Kulkarni was walking along Crabtree Lane, Fulham, when she saw Elghareeb – who she referred to as the ‘suspect’ – staring at her.

‘The suspect was staring at me and I thought at first he was checking me out because of the way he was staring at me.

‘As the suspect passed me he threw something at my chest.’

The item, which she soon realised to be a syringe, hit her in the collarbone but it did not cause any injuries.

Elghareeb attacked the three supermarkets on Fulham Palace Road on August 25 carrying a bucket of hypodermic needles

She said: ‘As I looked down at this item I realised it was an empty small plastic syringe.

‘I did not touch the syringe and left it where it had fallen in the road near a parked car.

‘At no point during our interaction did the suspect say anything to me and I didn’t say anything to him.’

She said she then saw Elghareeb ‘throw an egg at the tills’.

Earlier Dr Frank Farnham, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, told the court Elghareeb suffers from a ‘severe disease of the mind resulting in a loss of a sense of reality.’

He said that the man heard voices commanding him to do things by controlling his dreams and parts of his body.

‘These are often encountered by issues of schizophrenia.’

He claimed one of these voices to be Boris Johnson, while another was a former colleague.

Police forensic teams tried to identify the goods which had been injected by Elghareeb, though in total, more than £500,000 of goods had to be ditched  


Forensic investigators at Little Waitrose (left) and Tesco stores (right) on Fulham Palace Road following Elghareeb’s arrest

Elghareeb had previously worked at some of London’s most prestigious ‘Magic Circle’ law firms before he began to abuse crystal meth as part of his ‘work hard and play hard lifestyle.’

‘He’s bright and academically done very well,’ said Dr Farnham.

‘He has had an extremely successful career within the legal profession.’

Dr Farnham also said at the time that the solicitor had suffered psychological trauma including periods of homelessness after coming out as gay to his family.

In 2020 he had tried to hang himself to make the voices in his head stop.

Elghareeb believed the voices in his head resulted from Government spies placing implants in his ears and skull.

Dr Farnham concluded: ‘It didn’t cross his mind whether it was legal or unlawful, he was making a desperate attempt to draw attention from the police and be treated.

‘He was in such a disordered mental state that he couldn’t form a rational decision.

‘They were a set of actions to draw attention to the fact that he needed treatment.’

Elghareeb is being treated at St Bernard’s Hospital in West London.

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