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Not again! Dismay after yet another stabbing

Passers-by help save young man's life after knifing

13 December, 2018 — By Tom Foot

NOT again!

This was the main sentiment among onlookers after finding a main road in Kentish Town wrapped in police tape and another young man stabbed.

The 20-year-old victim had emergency ­surgery after the attack near Prince of Wales Road on Monday afternoon. He was saved, witnesses said, after receiving help from a passer-by and an off-duty police officer.

An air ambulance landed on Talacre Gardens and the road near Kentish Town West station was closed off for several hours.

It was close to where Sadiq Aadam Mohamed, 20, died in an unrelated case on a horrific night of violence in February – one of two young men who were killed in Camden in the same evening, sparking a series of public meetings, parent protests, community projects and a council investigation into the causes of knife violence.

It was understood that the man injured on Monday is improving and his condition is now stable. Police want witnesses to come forward. The passer-by who gave what may have been life-saving first aid to the victims said there had been a “Jeremy Kyle effect” at the scene as people made films with their mobile phones to put on Facebook. Police officers were bombarded with questions from those gathered over what had taken place.

The man, who gave his name as ‘Mr Thompson’, insisted he was not a hero.

He added: “The way he was stabbed, in broad daylight by the kids’ park at 3pm, the way people crowd around, the way the police were treated. The way the whole thing happened, there is a Jeremy Kyle effect to it all – it becomes all one big ­drama. People have been ­saying, ‘it’s great what you’ve done’, but I am not a hero and I am not feeling good about it – it was a horrific thing to see. I thought the boy had died in my lap, he kept closing his eyes.”

Mr Thompson added: “It could be you, it could be your kid. It doesn’t matter if it’s gang-related or over puff, or whatever. “I don’t want to live in a society where people call you a hero just for helping someone. The fact of the matter is that most people wouldn’t stop, but that is because they are scared of what might happen to them. It’s a sad thing about our society, people are scared to intervene. It says a lot I think.”

He said: “I’ve lived in Camden all my life, Somers Town in the 1970s. I’ve seen the racism, seen the culture, seen gangs, seen King’s Cross turn from a crack area to somewhere I can’t afford to live. It has all changed beyond recognition. I used to be proud to be a Londoner.” The man said he knew what to do to help after being sent on a first-aid course by his employer two weeks ago.

On the police cordon, Sam Potts, who lives in Camden Town, also warned how some regeneration could further polarise society.

He said: “I grew up around here and the difference is that they have made regeneration all over, but they haven’t done up the homes people are living in. The estates are terrible, you know. People grow up and they can see all the students partying and people enjoying their coffee – and no wonder they’re like, ‘what the eff?’”

Jamie Butler, who lives nearby, said: “It was school time. There was another one up here a few weeks ago, a lot of them don’t get reported. There’s no deterrent. They need to come down hard on them, like they did with the moped kids – it’s the only way to stop them.”

On Monday night, police took away CCTV footage from Kentish Town West overground station which is thought to be a key line of enquiry.

A camera outside the station pointed out towards the railway bridge where the attack happened and covers a rack where witnesses said a young man picked up a bike before riding away.

The Met last night (Wednesday) reiterated that the knife victim’s injuries were no longer considered to be life-threatening, adding that there had been no arrests.

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