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1996: Seven slashed in school machete attack

Three young children and four adults have been attacked by a man with a machete at an infant school in Wolverhampton.

They were enjoying a teddy bears' picnic at St Luke's Church of England school in the Blackenhall area.

Emergency services received reports of the attack at about 1515 BST and paramedics arrived on the scene within seconds.

Police are looking for a black man with a beard, in his mid-30s, 5ft 9in (1.75m) tall and of slim build. They have named a man they would like to question.

The victims were taken by West Midlands Ambulance Service to New Cross Hospital where they are being treated for stab wounds.

Their conditions are not life threatening but some have serious head injuries.

In just a couple of minutes the knifeman had attacked a parent barring his entrance into the school and launched a frenzied assault on the nursery group in the garden.

Wolverhampton education chairman Bob Jones has praised the bravery of parents and staff for preventing any loss of life.


"He was completely out of control"

Parent Balbinder Bains

Balbinder Bains, a 29-year-old courier, was one of many parents waiting to collect his child: "I could see him hanging around the bushes. I thought he was a litter collector.

"The guy jumped over a two foot fence into the kindergarten play area and just started hacking anybody and everybody. He was completely out of control."

Mr Bains and another man chased the attacker to Villiers House flats where he disappeared.

The injured children have been named as Ahmed Pervaz (3), Francesca Quintyne (4) and Rhena Chopra (4). The adults were Rhena's mother Surinder Kaur (29), Wendy Wellington (29), Azar Rasiq (29) and nursery nurse Lisa Potts (21).

Coming just four months after the massacre of 16 pupils and one teacher at Dunblane, this incident again highlights the issue of security in and around schools.

In Context
After searches by riot police Horrett Irving Campbell was found in Villiers House and charged with seven counts of attempted murder.

In March 1997 Campbell, 33, was found guilty and sent to a secure mental hospital for an indefinite period. He was suffering from severe schizophrenia.

In the Queen's Birthday Honours List a year later Lisa Potts was awarded the George Medal for bravery.

Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, Miss Potts gave up work as a nursery nurse in 1997 and began a career in the media.

In November 2001 her compensation claim was finally settled at 68,000. The children involved received up to 8,000 each.


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