Nearly Died 26th May 2012
Stacey Clarke (23) was rushed to hospital on 26th May 2012 after being attacked in a flat in Northgate Parade, Crawley. She suffered life-threatening injuries when she was stabbed four times in the neck and upper body. At the time she was 6 months pregnant.
Shahid Mahmood (25) a labourer, from The Parade, Northgate, Crawley, West Sussex, appeared at Mid Sussex Magistrates’ Court charged with attempted murder. Mahmood was due to enter a plea at Lewes Crown Court on 3rd August 2012, but the case was adjourned until 5th September to the same court. Ms Clarke’s baby is due about that time.
After the attack, Ms Clarke was taken to the intensive care unit at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, where she underwent an operation. Her baby survived. A police source said it was “remarkable” that the baby was alive and “developing as expected”. Ms Clarke already has a daughter.
Ms Clarke’s father Gordon, who lives in Black Dog Walk, Crawley, described the attack on his daughter as “attempted murder.” After the attack, one of her friends said: “She is pregnant and we are all now thinking of her. She is a lovely girl.” Another woman added: “I heard that a blonde girl had been stabbed and I thought ‘I bet that is Stacey’. I think she was due on September 2. She was excited about the baby. She is a nice girl.”
A Sussex Police spokesperson said they had been called to the incident by ambulance staff. He said: “Police were called on Saturday to an address in Northgate Parade. A female was found to have been seriously injured. Shortly afterwards at 4am on Saturday a man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.”
At the time, police said the attack was an isolated incident and other people did not need to be worried.
Note: This report was drawn from The Argus, Brighton & Hove. First written in May it was updated on 6th August 2012.
FOD Note: For Our Daughters notes that police statements such as the one above which suggest that such incidents are “isolated” and that “people” need not be worried, are inappropriate. They offer little comfort to the many women and children who either witness, or are the target of, domestic assault, stalking and threats of lethal violence. We hope that over time the police and the media will begin to report alleged offences of violence with greater sensitivity to the actual levels of risk to women and girls.