Mother recalls ‘horrific’ Streatham knife attack after she was stabbed in the face while pushing baby in pram

Rebecca Speare-Cole
·3-min read

A woman who was stabbed in the face and neck while pushing her baby in a pram has recalled the "horrific" attack.

Josephine Conlon, 36, was stabbed seven times in the face and neck in Streatham, south-west London on December 30 last year.

She had been returning home after meeting other new mothers at a bakery when Mark Brazant, 44, brutally attacked her before running off .

Brazant, 44, had been released from jail a few days earlier on Christmas Eve.

Giving evidence at the Old Bailey, Mrs Conlon said she first became aware of Brazant when she was “shoved” in the back.

She said: “It felt quite strong and I knew straight away it was not just someone trying to get me out of the way. I knew I was in danger.”

A mother was left bleeding and slumped over a pram after the alleged attack in Downton Avenue
A mother was left bleeding and slumped over a pram after the alleged attack in Downton Avenue

When she was shoved again, she dropped her mobile phone and fell on to a driveway.

The buggy containing her infant daughter rolled on to the kerb and became wedged next to a parked car.

Mrs Conlon said: “I remember him being above me. From that original shove your mind goes into overdrive, trying to work out what’s happening.

“I remember thinking he had pushed me into the driveway because he was going to rape me.

“Then he didn’t, he just started hitting me.

“I realised I was being stabbed. I was screaming a lot because I was not in the road so I wanted somebody to hear me.

“I was ducking and trying to get away and trying to get up on to my feet.

The trial is being heard at the Old Bailey (AFP via Getty Images)
The trial is being heard at the Old Bailey (AFP via Getty Images)

“I could feel blood. The adrenaline took away pain but I could feel things dripping.”

Mrs Conlon said she remembered thinking about kneeing her assailant in the groin as she pushed him.

She added: “I managed to get up on my feet and that’s when he turned and ran away.”

She screamed for help and neighbours came to her aid before she was taken to hospital.

She told jurors that she needed help to ring her husband Greg because her hands were “covered in blood”.

Mrs Conlon was discharged from hospital the next day but continues to have treatment for scars to her face and neck, the court heard.

Prosecutor Louise Oakley told jurors that Brazant was a “complete stranger” who had followed his victim a short distance before attacking her with a kitchen knife.

Previously, the defendant, who has paranoid schizophrenia, had served a prison sentence for three offences of battery and one of common assault, jurors were told.

He was released from Thameside jail on Christmas Eve, but had been reported missing after he failed to turn up at a supported house for people with mental health problems.

Jurors were shown CCTV of Brazant, dressed all in black, travelling on a bus before crossing paths with Mrs Conlon in Streatham.

Although the attack was out of shot, jurors heard Mrs Conlon’s screams and a baby crying, which was captured on audio at the scene.

The mother was heard to shout out: “What do you what? Help. Help me, help me.”

In the early hours of January 2, Brazant walked into Wandsworth police station carrying a knife, and said he had “stabbed a person on the street two days earlier”.

Jurors heard that the defendant accepted that he stabbed Mrs Conlon but denied he intended to kill her or cause really serious harm.

Ms Oakley said it is the Crown’s case that having paranoid schizophrenia does not provide him with a defence to the “horrific crime”.

Brazant, of Windmill Road, Ealing, west London, denies attempted murder.

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