Woman begged for life as sex attacker tried to kill her in Stoke Newington street after night out, court hears

PUBLISHED: 15:27 03 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:12 09 October 2017

Rectory Road and Evering Road were taped off after the attack. Picture: Zoah Hedges-Stocks

Rectory Road and Evering Road were taped off after the attack. Picture: Zoah Hedges-Stocks


A woman begged for her life as she was slashed repeatedly in a Stoke Newington street following a night out, a court heard.

Sabir Mohammed Sharife allegedly tried to kill her with a large knife in Rectory Road after they got off the same bus at 3.20am. The victim, 27, had been to the Queen Adelaide pub in Hackney Road with friends.

Sharife, 32, of the Shuttleworth Hostel in Well Street, is on trial for attempted murder and sexual assault at the Old Bailey.

Jurors were this morning shown a police interview with the victim two days after the attack, in which she recalled what she could of the horrific assault but said her memory was hazy because she was drunk.

She said: “I don’t know but sense that I might have realised I was being followed and shouted something at them, like ‘leave me alone’ or ‘f*** off’.

“I think I was grappled to the floor and think I was fighting against that.

“At some point he pulled out a knife. In my memory the knife was big and I was shocked to see a blade. I think at that point I begged him not to hurt me

“I said: ‘I thought you wanted to rape me’. I feel as though I remember saying ‘you can do it but just don’t hurt me’.

“But then the next thing I seem to remember was the shock of realising he was going to hurt me anyway. There was a sensation of the knife going across my neck. I thought he was going to cut my throat.

“I don’t know if I moved away. He was trying to get to my throat. I don’t know what happened – I must have been struggling a lot, I don’t know how I managed to get away.”

After managing to escape, the victim said she had an urge to scream but only did once or twice because blood was pouring out of her body, including her neck, and she didn’t want to “burst something”.

The court heard how she walked towards Rectory Road station, trying and struggling to pull her trousers up, and flagged down a car before police were called and she was taken to hospital.

The victim, who also gave evidence in court today, said she could not remember what her attacker looked like but thought he had dark skin.

“I sort of remember a look on their face,” she added. “Like a nasty grin, a creepy, eery, horrible look.”

She added: “As soon as he actually cut me I realised that he would kill me and I don’t know what went on in my brain but I had to get away or be killed.”

Prosecutor Sarah Campbell said the attack would “send a chill down the spine” of anyone who had travelled across London late at night.

The victim had got on the wrong bus after leaving the Queen Adelaide, before realising and boarding another bus in Mare Street.

CCTV footage shows Sharife getting off that second bus with the victim. His lawyer Richard Furlong suggested they had only had a “perfectly civil” conversation.

He told the victim during cross-examination: “What I’m going to suggest is after you got off the bus you were walking along with the dark skinned man who then left and a bike appeared.”

Sharife denies attempted murder, wounding with intent, sexual assault and committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence.

The trial continues.

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