IslingtonTribune

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Mother felt like “target practice” after stabbing in Holloway

Nursery teacher believes she was attacked as part of “gang” initiation

10 June, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Christel Stainfield-Bruce was stabbed in Holloway next to her sleeping son


WARNING BEFORE READING ON

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS A GRAPHIC PHOTO OF MRS STAINFIELD-BRUCE’S INJURY


 

A MOTHER said she felt like “target practice” after she was stabbed in front of her sleeping child in broad daylight.

Nursery teacher Christel Stainfield-Bruce and her husband Quinn believe she was attacked as part of a “gang” initiation and they are calling for help to find the teenager who stabbed the 36-year-old.

She had been pushing her three-year-old son in a buggy along Caedmon Road, Holloway, when she was approached by a teenager on Friday June 7 at about 5pm.

The boy, believed to be between 14 and 16, asked for directions to the Emirates stadium and when she pointed with a phone in her hand he told her to give it to him.

She refused and then the boy “leaned forward” and stabbed her in the back of the leg before running off.

The couple, who have three children, are convinced it was an initiation attack because the teen did not hesitate before stabbing her or try to take her phone and purse after the attack.

Mrs Stainfield-Bruce said: “It was really shocking to see. It’s scary. It’s disbelief. At what point do you think when you’re walking down the street that you’re at risk of being stabbed in broad daylight?

“There was no history with this person. I was just a random target. It almost felt like target practice.”

She added: “I haven’t left the house yet, I think that is when it will really kick in.

“When I woke up this morning, it was the first day I have felt quite anxious about leaving the house.

“My anxiety about leaving the house stems from the fact that this person is still out there. Possibly a local person.”

After she was stabbed Mrs Stainfield-Bruce, who is trained in first aid, wrapped her jumper around the wound and sat down on the curb and called the emergency services. She was then rushed to hospital.

There they told her that she was “very, very lucky” the blade had not hit any major arteries or tendons.

Mr Stainfield-Bruce, 34, said: “As a society, as a borough, as a city, as a country, this is at crisis point. This is a status thing. Trying to fit in with gangs and targetting someone in this way. Something incredibly drastic needs to be done.”

The pair were told that the incident was being treated as grievous bodily harm (GBH)

As the Tribune has previously reported, more than 80 per cent of GBH attacks in Islington in the past 12 months have not been solved.

The stab wound in Christel’s upper left leg 

Officers from the Central North Command Unit are investigating the incident.

No arrests have been made.

The suspect is described as black male, 5ft 3ins, of large build and was wearing dark coloured clothing, including a jacket and a ‘trucker’ style cap at the time of the attack.

Anyone who witnessed this incident or has information is asked to call West Area Command on 101 quoting CAD6063/07JUN or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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