She was pushing her baby in a pram along a London street, when a parolee randomly attacked her with a knife. Josephine Conlon is lucky to be alive.
She was pushing her baby in a pram along a London street, when a parolee randomly attacked her with a knife. Josephine Conlon is lucky to be alive.

Aussie’s ‘blood curdling’ screams in London knife attack

An Australian dad has recalled the panic-stricken phone call he received from his wife after she was stabbed randomly while pushing their toddler in a pram in South London.

Greg Conlon, who is from Sydney, rushed to the street where his wife Josephine was knifed seven times in the face and neck, allegedly by a man who had been released from jail just six days earlier.

Mrs Conlon, 36, was walking in Downton Street, Streatham Hill, with her then 21-month old daughter in a pram after having lunch with Mr Conlon and his parents, Peter and Sandra, who were visiting the UK from Australia.

"There was blood all over her face. She had a gash just under her right eye," Mr Conlon's police statement said of finding her at the scene.

Of the earlier phone call, he told officers: "As soon as I answered, she immediately said to me 'I have been stabbed'. She seemed quite frantic as if she was bursting into tears."

Mark Brazant, 44, handed himself into Wandsworth police station at 1.30am on January 2, three days after the attack, the Old Bailey Court criminal court in London heard.

Josephine Conlon, left, with her husband Greg Conlon and a supporter outside court in London. Picture: Hollie Adams
Josephine Conlon, left, with her husband Greg Conlon and a supporter outside court in London. Picture: Hollie Adams

He was charged with attempted murder but has challenged that, claiming his schizophrenia meant he did not have the capacity to intend to kill Mrs Conlon.

Mrs Conlon, a mother of three, was pushed into a driveway where she thought she was going to be raped, when the attack happened at 5.23pm on December 30 last year.

She let out "blood curdling" screams as she ducked and weaved Brazant's stabbing blows, which she said felt like punches.

"I remember thinking he had pushed me into the driveway because he was going to rape me but he didn't," she said in evidence.

"He just started to hit me and there were lots of blows. I think it was at that point that I realised I was being stabbed.

"I was sucking and trying to get away after trying to get up onto my feet. He was above me, crouching above me."

Mrs Conlon said she thought that her attacker was trying to mug her and told her to take her phone and handbag.

She was clinging to her pram when the attack began, but it then rolled away into a parked car and became wedged.

Streatham Hill, South West London, where the stabbing occurred around 5.20pm on December 30, 2019.
Streatham Hill, South West London, where the stabbing occurred around 5.20pm on December 30, 2019.

Mrs Conlon managed to get to her feet and Brazant fled, as neighbours came to her aid after hearing her screams.

Brazant had been released from prison on Christmas Eve, after serving half his sentence for three counts of battery and one count of common assault.

He did not turn up at the supported accommodation he was bailed to and was reported missing.

Mr and Mrs Conlon sat through evidence in court this week and held hands as CCTV evidence was played in the court, with Mr Conlon crying as he watched some of the images.

The footage showed Brazant, who was described by police as a 6 foot black man in their initial appeal for information, arriving at an inner-city London police station to turn himself in.

"I can't remember the area. She's in the hospital, she's no-one, she's a white woman," he said.

"No she's not my partner."

Greg and Josephine with relatives on their wedding day. Picture: Facebook
Greg and Josephine with relatives on their wedding day. Picture: Facebook

He then took cigarettes out of the pocket of his dark black jacket and put them in the police station's reception desk.

A knife was found leaning up against an internal door of the station, along with two other knives that were in a black rucksack he was carrying with him.

Medical evidence at court revealed the cut to the right hand side of Mrs Conlon's neck was 6cm deep and could have been fatal.

Brazant was wearing a face mask because of COVID-19 restrictions and a dark shirt as he sat in the dock, flanked by guards and support staff.

The jury was socially distanced throughout the courtroom, and asked questions of medical experts about Mrs Conlon's injuries.

Mrs Conlon, a marketing manager at McDonald's, studied at Durham University and Kingston University.

Mr Conlon, is a financial controller at a marketing company in London. The couple wed in 2016.

stephen.drill@news.co.uk

Originally published as Aussie's 'blood curdling' screams in London knife attack



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