Family of teen stabbed 17 times make plea for more resources to tackle knife crime in borough

Nerine O’Connor from Beyond Feelings counselling service

Nerine O’Connor from Beyond Feelings counselling service - Credit: Archant

The family of an innocent young man left fighting for his life after a callous gang sprung on him like a pack of wolves and stabbed him 17 times want more resources to be ploughed into tackling the roots of violent crime.

The 20-year old man, who cannot be named to protect his safety, underwent over six hours of surgery and needed nine units of blood to save his life after sustaining a collapsed lung, and multiple stab wounds to the back of his neck and torso.

He was with his girlfriend in Woodberry Grove just after midnight on Sunday April 6 when a black people carrier pulled up and about six black men jumped out of its back sliding doors and chased him down the street.

They struck him with a baseball bat and once the victim is on the floor the group began a sustained attack using knives.

Det Sgt Paul Ridley from Hackney’s violent crime unit has seen CCTV footage and found it one of the most brutal attacks he has ever come across.

“It’s very callous, they are like a pack of wolves,” he said.

“His injuries are horrendous, I’ve dealt with several murders and several stabbings during the past three years but this is one of the worst I’ve seen where someone has survived, the early indications were he was going to die.

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“As far as we are aware this is an incident in isolation, it would appear to be a motiveless attack, a case of mistaken identity, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I’d like to keep an open mind at this time but we haven’t identified him as having any gang links, he can’t provide an explanation.”

The victim still needs further operations because of his collapsed lung

When the Gazette met his family in hospital, they were in shock, and had been unable to sleep or eat for days.

His mother told us: “If it wasn’t for God he would be dead. When somebody says something I just can’t reply, I’m just sad, my mind is just numb.”

Nerine O’Connor from Beyond Feelings counselling service who is helping the family get through their ordeal, said they want to highlight the troubles caused by gangs at Woodberry Down.

“We know it’s a big problem within the community but it’s just being brushed under the carpet, we want to say enough is enough really,” she said.

“The level of anger, resentment and anxieties within the community is unbearable at a time like this, but the people who are carrying out all the damage are even angrier, and we need to get to the bottom of that.

“Woodberry Down is going through regeneration, and we should use that income to help disaffected youths in the community, it can only get worse if nothing is done,” she warned.

Det Sgt Ridley thinks the black people carrier with sliding back doors which was used to transport the gang could be a mini-cab.

“It wouldn’t be surprising if it the mini cab driver was driving them in fear, if it was a mini cab driver who’s dropped them off we can obviously offer him protection,” he said.

“They will all have heavily blood stained clothes, because of all his wounds so if members of the public noticed anyone coming home late at night with blood stained clothes they should get in touch.”

One suspect was wearing a light coloured baseball cap, and another was wearing a puffa-style body warmer.