Knife mugging victim relives horrific ordeal

A WOMAN has spoken of the horror of being mugged at knifepoint on her doorstep in Highgate

Tan Parsons

A WOMAN has spoken of the horror of being mugged at knifepoint on her doorstep in Highgate.

Shona Paton, 36, was returning from work last week when a man approached her from behind and asked for directions before pulling out a knife and grabbing her handbag.

The appalling incident follows similar muggings of mothers and vulnerable women around Hampstead and Highgate last year.

She said: "I was absolutely shocked, and so angry - how dare he do that to me outside my own door.

"It was at about 7pm. I came out of the tube and went up Southwood Lane. A man came up behind me and asked for directions to a place I'd never heard of and then he pulled the knife. It happened so quickly - and it catches you unawares.

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"I was screaming and trying to stop him taking my bag. I just wish I'd kicked him in the bollocks."

After a tussle, the man wrestled Ms Paton's bag out of her grasp and ran away from the house.

A pedestrian heard the victim's screams and chased after the mugger and a passing cyclist also joined the pursuit. But the thief jumped into a waiting car and escaped before anyone could catch him.

Bank worker Ms Paton has now armed herself with a personal alarm and is considering buying pepper spray in case she is mugged again.

She said: "I'd no idea what I would have done if I'd caught up with him after the chase - it was just so frightening and frustrating. The police asked if I could describe what he was wearing and what kind of car he drove away in but I couldn't. I could only describe him as a young black guy.

"They told me muggers tend to come into the nice areas of London and look for people coming home on their own.

"Perhaps this is a trend happening now in Highgate - if so I hope the police will be able to deal with it. But there are fewer CCTV cameras here than you get in other parts of London and I suppose that makes it that much harder to trace people.

"I just hope they catch the yobs who did this.

"Having been through this ordeal, I would advise other people to keep their personal belongings hidden in pockets and in their hands.

"I had all my things, including my cards, money and even my house keys in my bag, so I couldn't get into my house afterwards.

"It's just so important to be aware of things around you. I didn't even know this guy was behind me until I turned around.

"I want to thank the police, my neighbours and the pedestrians who helped me chase the robber - they were all fabulous."

A police spokeswoman confirmed they were called to reports of a robbery at Ms Paton's address last Tuesday and appealed for the cyclist who chased the robber to come forward.

Anyone with information about the incident should call Det Sgt Shaun Carre-Brown on 020-8345 0872 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.