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Protect us from this violence'

PUBLISHED: 18:56 28 May 2008 | UPDATED: 14:51 25 August 2010

Bexley
27-05-08
Rob Knox murder scene, Station Rd, Sidcup
Teenagers lighting candles
PICTURE BY: SIMON HILDREW

Bexley 27-05-08 Rob Knox murder scene, Station Rd, Sidcup Teenagers lighting candles PICTURE BY: SIMON HILDREW

HUNDREDS of residents flocked to a last-minute police meeting calling for an end to violence in a ward hit by seven stabbings in three days.

HUNDREDS of residents flocked to a last-minute police meeting calling for an end to violence in a ward hit by seven stabbings in three days.

More than 200 Sidcup residents congregated near Tesco Express in Station Road at 7pm on Tuesday yards from the Metro bar where 18-year-old Robert Knox was stabbed to death last Saturday.

Fears were heightened when just three days later a pub landlord was stabbed in broad daylight after three men stole his takings.

Tim O'Donnell, 27, the landlord of the Horse and Groom pub in Main Road, Sidcup, remains in hospital after he was stabbed in his buttock, at around 2.45pm on Tuesday. His condition is not life-threatening.

The latest attack took place just yards from where Harry Potter star Mr Knox was stabbed to death and his five friends injured.

Hours later a throng of angry residents spoke of their fear for their children's safety at the impromptu street briefing.

A 25-year-old mother of two said: "I am scared and disgusted. Two stabbings in Sidcup, less than a week apart, is too much."

Denise Hewish, 53, from Sidcup, said: "It's got to the point where I am frightened to walk down here."

Nurse Margaret Telcher, 42, from New Eltham, was worried about the safety of her 16-year-old son at nearby Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar school. She said: "I want to know why there were under-age children in the pub after midnight.This probably would not have happened if they had not been there."

Student Claire Gill, 21, from Sidcup, said: "I am really shocked because I have always thought of Sidcup as being a safe place. Metro is the only place open late on Friday nights. Any two people in Sidcup with a problem will end up face to face there." Inspector Toby Noar, flanked by councillors and Greater London Assembly Member for Bromley and Bexley James Cleverly, said: "I understand that recent events will have heightened people's fear of crime. But, historically, this is a low crime area for serious incidents like these."

His words were met with shouts from the crowd including "Did you forget about Jimmy Mizen?" but received applause when he called for parents to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

He said: "Parents of youths who are fighting in the streets at night need to take some responsibility and know where their children are and who they are hanging around with."

Rob Knox, 18, of Maidstone Road, Sidcup, was stabbed just after 12am and died later in hospital. His Sidcup school friends Dean Saunders, 21, Nick Jones, 19, Tom Hopkins, 18, Charlie Grimley, 17, and Andrew Dormer, 16, were also stabbed.

Mr Saunders, who was knifed in the neck, remains in hospital with injuries that may cause some paralysis.

Police are looking for three white men in their early to mid 20s in connection with the attack against Mr O'Donnell.

Call the police on 020 8284 9112.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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