Charity worker mugged at knifepoint near Victoria park warns others to be vigilant

Ripon Ray, 35, is warning Victoria Park residents to be vigilant after he was mugged at knife-point

Ripon Ray, 35, is warning Victoria Park residents to be vigilant after he was mugged at knife-point and is calling on Hackney Council to improve lighting in the area - Credit: Archant

A charity worker has urged others to be vigilant after he was mugged and assaulted at knifepoint in what is believed to be the second incident of its kind in the same road that night.

Ripon Ray, 35, of Sharon Gardens, Victoria Park, was walking home from Bethnal Green Station when the terrifying incident happened last Tuesday evening.

After walking through Victoria Park, he was heading along Gore Road – towards Skipworth Road – at around 10pm when two balaclava-clad young men appeared and attacked and mugged him at knifepoint.

Mr Ray, who moved to the area a year ago, said: “He jumped right in front of me and said: ‘get your money and your wallet out’. At first I was not sure what to think. Then he got his knife out and I screamed really loud.

“Another guy came out and punched me on my jaw so hard that my glasses fell off. My jaw is still sore. The experience was traumatic.

“They climbed over the gate and ran off through the park.

“They took a brown bag which I had specially made from a shop in Brick Lane. The bag is a rectangular sports one and contained a book, a towel and ear-phones.

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“I reported the incident to the police. The officer who dealt with it told me that there was another mugging similar to mine on the same night.

“A friend who lives on Gore Road has also been mugged there and a local resident told me that women have been harassed in the area.”

Mr Ray is now calling on Hackney Council to improve the poor lighting in Gore Road where the incident took place.

He said: “I want Hackney Council to do something about it. That section of Gore Road is dimly lit. It attracts criminals. I think more could be done such as putting CCTV in place, making the lights brighter and adding new lights.”

A Met Police spokesman said: “Detectives from Hackney are investigating and believe the incident may be linked to another robbery in the same road at 11.40pm the same evening.

“On that occasion a 20-year-old man was threatened with a knife and forced to hand over a mobile phone, black rucksack, keys and cash. Again, the suspects left the scene in the direction of Victoria Park.

“The suspects are described as one white male and one black male, aged between 18 and 25 years. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 and Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Cllr Sophie Linden, deputy mayor, said: “I am really sorry to hear about Mr Ray’s experience. I understand that he has reported it to the police. We work closely with the police to tackle crime which is reducing in Hackney. We will look if there are any further measures we can take to make this area safer.”