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Man stabbed in ‘unprovoked’ attack outside Home Office

UK News | Published:

A man, 29, has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

Stabbing at Home Office

A bloodied stab victim went into the Home Office for help after being knifed in an “unprovoked” attack outside the Government building in central London.

One man, 29, has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm after the assault on Marsham Street in Westminster.

The injured man, aged in his 60s, went inside the building, which was put on lock-down, to get help following the assault at around 1pm on Thursday.

The Metropolitan Police said the incident is “not being treated as terrorism-related”, but said officers are “still keeping an open mind with regards any possible motive”.

An image shared online showed a bloodied, topless man being helped by a police officer as well as someone from the ambulance service.

A man, who an eyewitness said could have been the perpetrator, was apparently seen putting something into his bag and then walking “calmly” down the road after the incident.

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: “All my thoughts are with the victim and their family following horrific unprovoked knife attack on Marsham Street.”

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Police initially said the victim’s injuries were life-threatening but later updated that to say they were not life-threatening nor life changing.

London Ambulance Service said he was was taken to a major trauma centre.

The arrested man was detained in nearby Smith Square and is also suspected of being in possession of CS spray, the Met said.

Police officers in Marsham Street, Westminster
Police officers in Marsham Street, Westminster (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

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The force confirmed that an animal carrier box left at the scene contained a ferret.

Eyewitnesses described seeing the victim who was “full of blood” being helped out of the building.

Gareth Milner said he was eating his lunch on the wall outside the Home Office when “a number of armed police officers arrived on scene and entered the building”.

“Some time later a gentleman with quite a bloodied face and with dressing pressed into his face was escorted out of the Home Office by paramedics,” said Mr Milner, who works nearby for the Centre for Policy Studies.

A barista working opposite the Home Office said of the victim: “He had just trousers, nothing on top.

“He was full of blood. He was escorted by police and paramedics…”

An office worker opposite the Home Office, who asked to remain anonymous, described seeing a man walk calmly down the road after the incident.

POLICE HomeOffice
(PA Graphics)

She told PA: “He was standing over there outside the Home Office and then he was putting something away in his bag, but I didn’t see a knife or anything.

“He was putting something away and then he just calmly just walked off down the road as if nothing had happened.

“Then people were being asked to go into the Home Office, they were being ushered in.”

Shaun Malston, 43, senior property manager at Garton Jones estate agents opposite the Home Office, described seeing people running into the building after the stabbing.

He said: “I suddenly heard a lot of noise and commotion – people shouting – and people running into the Home Office.

Stabbing at Home Office
Investigators search outside St John’s Smith Square church (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“I happened to notice a guy by the tree over there, just sitting to the right of it, and then turned around and was putting something into a backpack.

“A lot of people sit out there during lunch but he was probably one of the few that was left there because everyone else was running away and scattering, and he just put stuff, whatever, into his backpack and put it back on and just walked down (the road).”

He said he saw the victim walking out of the Home Office “with his shirt off, but he had a jacket on and he had blood all down his chest and he had a patch over his eye”.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office described the stabbing as “deeply concerning”.

She said: “The Metropolitan Police is investigating a knife attack which took place outside the Home Office this afternoon. The victim is receiving medical care. This is a deeply concerning incident and our thoughts are with him and his family.

“As this is an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Police said inquiries are ongoing into the exact circumstances of the incident and that they are keeping an open mind with regard to any possible motive.

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