Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Friday, 6 June 2008 16:01 UK

'I was too shocked to be scared'

By Chris Summers
BBC News

New guidance is being issued to police and prosecutors in England and Wales to ensure people as young as 16 found carrying a knife are charged rather than cautioned. Sami Ibrahim spent two months in hospital after being stabbed four times by a gang of hooded youths.

Sami Ibrahim
I was too shocked to be scared. I didn't know what was going on and I didn't believe it. One second I was in school and the next I was in hospital
Sami Ibrahim

"I remember everything about that night. I remember the time was 1017pm [2217 GMT] and I remember every footstep as they ran after me," says Sami Ibrahim.

The 16-year-old from north London, who is currently sitting his GCSE exams, was taking a group of youngsters to a music event as a volunteer youth worker when he was attacked in November last year.

Sami's group had performed at the event in east London, but a bad atmosphere developed and they decided to leave after hearing rumours about a gang of local youths waiting outside.

A gang of hooded youths in their late teens, wearing bicycle smog masks, were circling ominously.

In an attempt to defuse the situation, Sami's group decided to split up. He went into a minicab office and offered to pay 50 to get home safely.

He said the woman in the minicab office was very dismissive and told him to go outside where he might find a taxi.

Home Office knife campaign
A recent Home Office campaign highlighted knife crime
"I went outside, but there was no car. The group saw me and I ran off and they chased me. I tripped over and they beat me up and left me in a bin. I wasn't aware of who was stabbing me," he said.

"I was confused. I was too shocked to be scared. I didn't know what was going on and I didn't believe it. One second I was in school and the next I was in hospital," he added.

A girl found him lying in a rubbish bin, covered in blood. She tried to get help from a nearby shop, but the shopkeeper turned them away.

Eventually police and an ambulance turned up and Sami was taken to Homerton Hospital in Hackney.

He had been stabbed four times in the stomach, lower back and buttocks.

"One of the wounds was 10cm [3.9in] deep and I could have died because it only missed my artery by 2cm [0.7in]," he said.

"I was in a bad state and was very close to dying. I had to be taken to theatre and I suffered from internal bleeding," he added.

Sami spent two weeks in hospital and had two major operations. It took him another two months to recover fully.

He said: "I lived a life of disaster and missed out on so much school."

Knives seized by police during Operation Blunt 2
Police have seized dozens of weapons on the streets of London
He said the police came to the hospital the day after the stabbing and tried to take a statement from him.

"I was scared and feeling terrible and I was in no position to give a statement," he said.

He said they contacted him again, but by the time he finally felt well enough to see them they had closed the file on the incident.

Sami said he did not feel the police had properly investigated the incident because nobody died and he added: "I feel abandoned".

He said: "The police have not taken it seriously.

Due to the serious nature of the assault officers continued an investigation but despite the seizure of CCTV and talking to potential witnesses there have been no arrests
Metropolitan Police

"They are saying that without evidence they can't catch the people responsible but if someone is murdered I'm sure they will catch that person.

"But they only seem to care when someone dies."

Sami welcomed plans to prosecute those aged 16 and 17 who carry knives but he said more could be done to tackle knife crime.

No arrests

He said: "When I read in the papers about kids my age who have been killed I think 'That could have been me'."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman told BBC News: "Police attended the hospital in an effort to obtain a detailed statement and launch a thorough investigation but the victim was unable to provide a statement at that time.

"The victim, and the victim's father, were further contacted and details of investigating officers exchanged but at that stage no further information was provided to police.

"Due to the serious nature of the assault officers continued an investigation but despite the seizure of CCTV and talking to potential witnesses there have been no arrests.

"Should any further information come to light it will of course be pursued vigorously."




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