Streatham stranger attack: Man repeatedly stabbed mother

image captionNeighbours found Josephine Conlon injured outside these flats in Streatham

A violent offender repeatedly stabbed a mother pushing a baby in a pram in a "horrific" attack days after his release from prison, a court has heard.

Mark Brazant, 44, used a kitchen knife in a "stranger attack" on Josephine Conlon, leaving her with face and neck injuries in Streatham, south London.

He was released from jail on Christmas Eve last year, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr Brazant, who has paranoid schizophrenia, accepts he attacked Mrs Conlon but denies attempted murder.

The court heard Mrs Conlon told police the buggy containing her daughter rolled into a parked car as she was pushed to the ground from behind, on 30 December.

'Covered in blood'

She told officers: "He was all over me. He was kneeling over me, so he had the dominant position. I was on the floor being stabbed."

"I remember thinking he had pushed me into the driveway because he was going to rape me.

"I realised I was being stabbed. I was screaming a lot because I was not in the road so I wanted somebody to hear me."

Brazant ran away when Mrs Conlon "managed to get up on my feet".

Mrs Conlon was then unable to call her husband because her hands were "covered in blood".

She screamed for help and neighbours came to her aid before she was taken to hospital.

Mrs Conlon was discharged from hospital the next day but continues to have treatment for scars to her face and neck.

'Deliberately armed himself'

Prosecutor Louise Oakley said: "They had never met each other before and were complete strangers.

"But, having followed her a short distance and having deliberately armed himself with a kitchen knife, he used it to inflict multiple stab wounds to her face and neck."

Mr Brazant, of Windmill Road, Ealing, west London, had disappeared following his release from Thameside jail, the jury heard.

He had served a prison sentence for three offences of battery and one of common assault.

On 2 January, Mr Brazant handed himself into police - while carrying a knife - telling officers he had "stabbed a person on the street two days earlier", the Old Bailey was told.

Jurors heard the defendant accepted he had stabbed Mrs Conlon, but denied he had intended to kill her or cause her serious harm.

Ms Oakley said it was the Crown's case that having paranoid schizophrenia did not provide Mr Brazant with a defence for the "horrific crime".

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