Magdalene students escape attack

Carly Hilts 25 January 2008

Two students from Magdalene College have narrowly escaped a vicious attack by an unidentified man armed with a pipe.

Steve Allen, a third-year English student, was chased by the stranger through Cambridge’s Quayside area around 6.45pm on Saturday 12th.

He says that he and his girlfriend, Anna Barber, a Magdalene graduate saw the man sweeping the object about in a threatening manner. After attempting to leave the area, he says that the man stepped towards them and raised the weapon.

It is believed that the attacker may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The student alleges that the attacker tried to hit him with the weapon, missed, and shattered the object on the ground. He said that the object was made either of plastic or glass.

While being chased, however, he and his girlfriend separated, when they ran in different directions. But Allen was eventually able to escape to Edwin’s restaurant, where he called the police.

The student described how he had feared for his girlfriend’s safety. He told The Cambridge Student (TCS): “I was really worried. I thought that he might double back and then go after her.”

After borrowing a mobile phone he found out that his girlfriend was safe. Allen remains puzzled by the fact that the attack seemed to be completely without motive.

“He didn’t seem to have any reason for attacking us” he said. “He didn’t want any money. Throughout the whole thing he didn’t speak. His eyes were completely gone.”

The attack has not made Allen apprehensive about walking about Cambridge at night, but it has made him more aware of the safety of his female friends.

He said: “Quayside isn’t a good place; there aren’t many ways out of it. I have lots of friends living in those buildings, girls who often walk home alone, and he didn’t make any distinction between attacking a man and attacking a woman.”

He described his attacker as being a white man with very dark hair, a dark complexion and lots of stubble, who was wearing a red and black checked ‘lumberjack’ shirt, dark trousers, and a white sheet tied around his head like a bandanna.

Cambridgeshire police said their investigation of the incident is ongoing.

Carly Hilts