Woman could have drowned under her bike in Regent’s Canal attack

PUBLISHED: 17:11 29 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:36 30 July 2014

The Regent's Canal. Photo Emma Bartholomew

The Regent's Canal. Photo Emma Bartholomew

Emma Bartholomew

A woman could have drowned when she was trapped under her bike after two youths pushed her into a canal.

Misha Mccgwire, 24, was cycling to work on Sunday morning along Regent’s Canal towpath close to Kingsland Road when she came across the two thugs who blocked her path and forced her into the water.

Trapped underneath her cycle and unable to breathe, she was saved when passers-by rescued her, while others chased the youths away.

Her father, Christian Wolmar, a potential Labour candidate in next year’s London Mayoral election, said: “These two kids deliberately got up off a bench and stood in her way.

“She wondered, ‘What’s this about’, rang her bell and they didn’t move, and then it doesn’t take much to nudge somebody into the canal and they ran off. It’s difficult to know if it was a stupid prank or if they had a serious intent, but the police said this is a serious and they would charge.

“She was stuck under the bike, it’s not that easy to get a bike off you, when you are plunged in, she said she was flailing about.”

Ms Mccgwire was shaken but otherwise fine and advised to get a tetanus jab by ambulance staff.

Mr Wolmar doesn’t want the incident to put people off using the canal but has warned others to be vigilant.

He said: “The police said this is was the second incident this week, they are taking the issue very seriously.

“I used to cycle along the canal 15 years ago, it was deserted then and it was slightly scary, but now it’s great, it’s an amenity. You have to defeat these kids, not let them get away with it.”

Ian Shacklock, chairman of the Friends of Regent’s Canal group, has called for CCTV coverage along the towpath, following a spate of antisocial behaviour.

He said: “We need to study all the patterns of antisocial behaviour in the hope that the canal will lose its status as a magnet for unchallenged crime. I hope this will trigger the Borough Commander to meet the canal and council executives to agree a safety plan otherwise boaters and other canal users will feel abandoned and unprotected.

“A lot of people are investing time and money trying to improve the surroundings, through creating community gardens, cleaning up litter and graffiti and they need assurance that they are getting support from the authorities.”

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