Ilford Lane volunteer attack fails to deter Redbridge Street Pastors

PUBLISHED: 18:00 02 December 2014

Ilford Lane, Ilford

Ilford Lane, Ilford


A Ilford Lane volunteer has declared a patrol to “reassure” residents on the road a success – just days after one female aid worker was attacked with a knife.

Outreach worker Sophia Burley was approached by her alleged attacker when out on patrol on the notorious road last week.

Last Friday night, Bob Hughes, 70, led out Redbridge Street Pastors group undeterred by events three days prior.

His colleague Ms Burley was left needing hospital treatment for injuries to her head and back. She has since left hospital and is recovering at home.

Ms Burley, a mother of two, set up Safe Space Project (SSP), four years ago to supplement the work of Redbridge Street Pastors which tries to help sex workers on the road.

Mr Hughes said: “Friday’s patrol went well, the girls were so pleased to see someone who cares and hear of the outreach worker’s improvement.

“The community as a whole were also pleased to see us.

“Our motto is ‘help, care and listen’.”

Ms Burley told the Recorder in October – less than a month before she was attacked – how she could “not honestly say that we will get a complete end” to prostitution on the road.

“We may get a reduction but never a complete end,” she said, speaking to mark the anniversary of Mariana Popa’s murder.

The Romanian national was stabbed to death just yards away from where Ms Burley was attacked.

Ms Burley has patrolled the road – a known pick-up spot by kerb-crawlers – twice-a-week, each week for the last four years.

Robin Kardam, 43 of Madras Road, Ilford has been charged with attempted murder, threatening a person with a bladed article and possession of a bladed article.

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