Pregnant Woman Attacked on North London Street
A woman has described her ordeal as she was attacked and robbed by a young man on a London street in June this year, while she was in labour.
Patience Chukwu was on her way to hospital when she took her mobile phone out of her bag to call her sister and birthing partner. However, as she did so, a young man on a bicycle approached her and grabbed her phone.
During the attack, Ms Chukwu – who was experiencing contractions at the time, was dragged down the street and repeatedly punched in the head as she tried to shield her stomach.
Immediately after the attack, members of the public came to Ms Chukwu’s aid and called the police. Once police arrived, the 40 year old was questioned by an officer about the incident and a second officer timed her contractions while they waited for an ambulance.
Ms Chukwu said of the incident:
“He was pulling me, dragging me with the bike, I was pleading. I said: ‘Please, I’m in labour, as you can see I’m heavily pregnant.’ He didn’t want to listen, he didn’t want to stop, he was trying to ride the bike.
“He was hitting me to let go but I refused to let go.”
Calling her attacker a ‘coward’, she added:
“He really wanted to hit my tummy because the level of which his hand was coming would have landed on my stomach. So I shielded my baby, with my hand and I bent down, the blow went to my eyes and everything became so dark.
“I couldn’t see so I let go … and the boy started pedalling away.”
Distress to Mother & Child
The commotion and shock of the incident caused her unborn child to become distressed, with midwives unable to detect the baby’s heartbeat. The child was rushed to intensive care following an emergency cesarean. Ms Chukwu has expressed that she feels responsible for her son’s distress:
“I saw all the wires connected, I felt so responsible that my baby was going through that. I felt that if I had not run after the man or held on to him, being dragged by him, my baby might not have gone through that stress.
“But I was told even if I didn’t go after the boy or hold him, the shock alone that my phone was snatched unexpectedly is also enough for the baby to go through that same shock, that stress.”
Since the attack, two month old Ozil suffers with painful seizures on a daily basis. His mother, who suffered with depression and anxiety prior to the attack, is now even more afraid to walk down the street and fears using her phone in public. She said:
“I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel free going out now.
“I’m so afraid of people coming towards me … And no matter how important the call is, if I have a phone call, if my phone is ringing as long as I’m outside I don’t pick it [up].”
“Now if I see someone coming, especially a man on a bike, I will look for another alternative route to take.”
The attacker has been described as ‘a short black man of medium build between 18 and 20 years old, with shaven hair and brown eyes’. He was apparently wearing a hooded grey top at the time of the attack and is described to have ‘a slim face with pronounced cheek bones and a rough, pock-marked complexion’.
The attack took place at around 9am on Sunday 26 June on Leadale Road, North London. Anyone with information regarding the attack on is asked to contact the investigation team on 07795 122 325 or 101 and request Hackney CID, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Criminal Injury – Expert Advice
We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.
There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to victims or their families who have been the innocent victims of violent crime. The Scheme is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and is governed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email [email protected].
Source: The Guardian