Hunt for thug who attacked pregnant woman for her phone in Upper Clapton - while she was IN LABOUR
PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 August 2016 | UPDATED: 13:50 24 August 2016
A woman who almost lost her baby after being robbed while in labour is pleading with her community to name the heartless thug who attacked her.
Patience Chukwu, 40, was on her way to Homerton Hospital at 10am on June 26 when a hooded man confronted her in Leadale Road, Upper Clapton, just yards from her home in Maple Close.
She was on the phone to her sister telling her she was having contractions when the man snatched her phone and tried to ride off on his bike.
“I grabbed him and shouted: ‘Please give me the phone. I am in labour – I need to contact my family’,” Patience told the Gazette. “But he was hitting me. He really wanted to hit my stomach. I was really, really big so he could see I was pregnant.”
Patience leant forward to protect her baby but was hit three times in the face before the man fled.
She was taken to hospital by private ambulance organisation Hatzola, but doctors were unable to find a heartbeat for her unborn child so the birth was induced.
Patience then endured a sleepless night while doctors tried to save baby Kamsi. The next morning, in his mother’s arms, he had a seizure and had to spend another week in critical care.
Now eight weeks old, Kamsi is back at home, but still suffers seizures as a result of the attack and the long-term effects are not yet known.
Patience believes people in her community know the thug, and has called on them to come forward.
She said: “I believe people around here know him and I am pleading for them to tell police so that another pregnant woman does not have to go through what I went through.
“How can anyone do that? If I saw him I would grab him and give him a big beating.
“I don’t feel safe in my own neighbourhood. I’ve called police three times since it happened.”
Police have now released an e-fit of the attacker and Det Insp Paul Ridley, from Hackney CID, said the violent and unprovoked attack had “devastating consequences” for mother and baby.
He said: “All the robber got away with was a mobile phone, but the impact his actions have had will last this family a lifetime.”
He added that if he was not caught, the man would likely strike again.
Anyone with information should call the investigation team on 07795 122 32 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.