Teenager charged with attempted murder after south London train stabbing, with victim still in critical condition

29 March 2024, 10:30

The attack happened on a train in south London
The attack happened on a train in south London. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

A teenager has been charged with attempted murder after a man was left in a critical condition in a stabbing on a train in south London.

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The victim was rushed to hospital following the incident between Shortlands and Beckenham Junction station and is in a critical but stable condition.

Rakeem Thomas, 19, was charged with attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon, police said on Friday.

British Transport Police said: "Officers were called to Beckenham Junction station just before 4pm yesterday (27 March) following reports of a fight on board a train between Beckenham and Shortlands railway station.

"British Transport Police attended, alongside London Ambulance Service and Metropolitan Police and a man in his 20’s was taken to hospital.

"He is in a critical but stable condition and his family are being supported by specialist officers."

Read more: Man fighting for life after being stabbed by attacker with zombie knife on train in front of horrified passengers

Read more: Zombie knife attacker leaves man fighting for life after stabbing on train in front of horrified passengers

The attacker wields a huge knife on the train to Beckenham Junction
The attacker wields a huge knife on the train to Beckenham Junction. Picture: Alamy

Superintendent Darren Malpas said: “We understand the concerns of the public following this incident and our detectives have been working tirelessly to investigate. I hope this arrest will bring some reassurance to those on the rail network.“

High-visibility patrols will continue in the area and across the network as a visible reassurance to the travelling public.

“Any witnesses who are yet to get in touch are urged to do so by calling 0800 405040 or texting 61016 quoting reference 397 of 27 March.

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Footage from the incident was shared widely on social media showing the attacker, clad in black with a face mask, wielding a huge zombie knife.

He took several lunges at the man lying on the floor at the foot of the train doors while passengers appeared horrified.

The attack happened at around 3.56pm on Wednesday.

One passenger could be heard screaming: "F****** stop it now", before calling police to report the attack.

They tell the 999 operator: "I'm on the train to Beckenham Junction and this man's stabbing someone on the train."

Just hours later, and less than 10 miles away, Kennington Tube station was locked down following another stabbing. Two men were seriously injured in an attack on the northbound platform.

The incident is not believed to be linked to the Beckenham Junction stabbing, British Transport Police said.

Officers were called to the scene of the second incident at around 10.37pm on Wednesday, following reports of a member of the public being stabbed.

The suspect fled the scene before police arrived.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Paul Attwell said: “We understand that people will be worried by this senseless attack.

"Our teams have been working throughout the night, aided by CCTV footage, forensics and detailed accounts from witnesses at the scene.

"We believe that one of the victims was injured after bravely stepping in to try to prevent the attack.

"If you have information that could help us, we urge you to contact BTP by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40, quoting reference 728 of 27 March.

"Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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