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Man ‘tried to attack Ilford Lane prostitutes with massive blade after being laughed at’

15:37 02 June 2014

Archant

An angry man tried to attack three “prostitutes” with a blade “larger than a kitchen knife” when they refused to stop loitering on a road just off Ilford Lane, according to a resident.

Tariq Mahmood, of Hamilton Road, was emptying his bins in the early hours of Thursday morning when he saw a man across the street remonstrating with three women he described as “prostitutes” of “eastern European” appearance.

“He told them to go away and they basically ignored him and instead of moving away they started laughing at him,” said Mr Mahmood, who lives with his wife and three children.

“The man pulled out a knife and tried to attack the prostitutes.

“Because of his face mask the attacker misjudged the pavement edge and fell down on the road with his knife.

“The prostitutes started screaming and ran for their lives. That was such a scary scene.

“I was hiding behind the driveway wall until the man got up picked up his knife and walked away towards the end of Hamilton Road.”

Mr Mahmood added: “Luckily he fell down otherwise he would have stabbed someone.”

The father-of-three said he hadn’t called the police because there were no injuries, adding: “In the last four or five months I’ve called police so many times and they’ve done nothing.

“Each time you call them they say call your local council.”

Redbridge Police’s Det Ch Insp Stewart Hill said officers were working with the council to resolve the issue of sex workers on Ilford Lane.

“We are fully aware of how this issue is affecting the quality of life of local residents, and we are therefore committed to our joint strategy to deal with this problem,” he said.

“I would urge members of the public to continue to contact police and report such incidents in order that any incident can be assessed and an appropriate response deployed.”

He also stressed sex workers were “vulnerable females” who needed support “to provide a route out of continued offending and victimisation”.

Romanian Mariana Popa, 24, was stabbed to death on Ilford Lane in the early hours of October 29 last year. Farooq Shah, 21, of Station Road, Forest Gate, was found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday and will be sentenced at the same court on June 27.

Read more:

Mariana Popa trial: Man, 21, found guilty of prostitute’s murder

‘Powerful’ documentary on human trafficking being screened in Ilford

Burglary in Chadwell Heath, London’s worst for break-ins, curbed by crackdown

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