‘I was stabbed outside my home’: Redbridge crime victims tell their stories

Cllr Ross Hatfull was stabbed by a gang after his mobile phone.

Cllr Ross Hatfull was stabbed by a gang after his mobile phone. - Credit: Archant

This week, the Recorder has been looking at the true picture of crime in Redbridge.

Three victims of burglary, assault and pickpocketing told us how crime had affected their lives.

Cllr Ross Hatfull, Seven Kings, stabbed

I was coming back from a meeting in July 2012 and I was almost in my road in Seven Kings when I noticed a couple of youths hanging around.

They came up behind me and I felt something pushed into my back. It was a knife.

They told me to hand over my phone and wallet but I wouldn’t give it to them.

I pushed one of them and he fell backwards. I tried to run away but they caught up with me and bundled me to the ground.

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They stabbed me in the chest virtually right outside my house. If it was a quarter of an inch over it would have punctured a lung.

Since then I’ve definitely been more cautious and a lot more anxious.

If I’m in Ilford and there’s groups of youths around I find myself looking over my shoulder when before I wouldn’t have noticed.

Female student, Ilford, pick-pocketed

If it wasn’t for my husband, I wouldn’t have known I was being pick-pocketed.

I was walking towards Ilford station and had my iPhone in my pocket with a stylus dangling out.

This man was walking pretty close behind me with two little girls between seven to 12.

My husband noticed something wasn’t right. They were pretty close.

He saw one of the little girls dip into my pocket, pinch my phone and hand it to the man.

My husband grabbed the man’s hand as he asked me to check my pockets.

That is when I realised my phone was gone and I saw it was on the floor.

At the time, there were no police around to report it to.

The phone was back in my possession and, after an exchange of harsh words, we went our separate ways.

Cllr Filly Maravala, Ilford, burgled

I was on holiday in Mumbai with my family when we were burgled in December 2009.

They broke in through both the doors with a crow bar. I think they must have been in and out in about five minutes flat.

They took my council laptop, my cheque books, cards and some lovely pictures I had with my children when they got their degrees.

It was horrible. I didn’t feel safe after.

I’m now obsessed with security. I got a £3,000 door, lights and cameras on the front and back.

No one should have to go to those lengths. Even when I get up in the night I switch on the lights and check the back garden and the drive.

You can replace cheque books, cancel the cards, get a new laptop, but the fact they came in and violated your space – that’s hard to forget.