Stabbed mother says ‘gang initiation’ may have motivated attacker

A mother walking with her son in a pushchair was stabbed in the leg by a teenage boy in what she thinks was a “gang initiation” after she refused to hand over her phone.

Police were called just before 5pm on Friday to reports of a stabbing in Islington, north London.

Christel Stainfield-Bruce, 36, was walking with her three-year-old son in a buggy when the incident happened.

Police say a male suspect aged 14 to 16 approached the victim asking for directions.

After giving him the directions, he asked for her mobile and stabbed her in the back of the leg when she refused to hand it over.

He then fled the scene and the victim was taken to a central London hospital where her injuries were treated. They are not life-threatening or changing.

Ms Stainfield-Bruce told the Sky News she was walking home on “just a normal Friday after work”.

“I wasn’t aware of anyone behind me, just pushing my son he’s asleep in the buggy,” she said.

She said a teenager came up behind her and said “excuse me”.

“He asked me for directions to the Emirates stadium, so I stopped to gesture in the right direction, looked at him [he was] just a young boy.

“I didn’t necessarily feel any fear at that moment and then he said ‘give me your phone’ and I said ‘no’ and then he just reached around to the back of my left thigh and stabbed me in the back of it – so so quick.”

Ms Stainfield-Bruce said the attack felt “specific” and “as if that’s what he was aiming for”.

She said the attack “shocked and surprised” her, but added it “didn’t feel like a robbery”.

“It felt to me like the goal was to stab me,” she said, adding that she thought it could be “gang initiation” because he didn’t try very hard “to get any financial gain”.

Ms Stainfield-Bruce said doctors told her the wound was “quite deep” and about three inches wide and “quite clean” so it was “obviously quite a sharp knife”.

She says her messaged to society is that “we need to find something else for these children to be doing” to get them off the streets and “give them opportunities”.

No arrests have been made.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “The suspect is described as black male, 5ft 3in, of large build and was wearing dark coloured clothing, including a jacket and a ‘trucker’ style cap at the time of the attack.”


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