05 February 2020, The Tablet

Streatham attack 'will not divide us' says bishop

One man remains hospitalised for injuries inflicted in the terror Sunday's attack

Streatham attack 'will not divide us' says bishop

The scene in Streatham High Road after attacker Sudesh Amman was shot dead by armed police.
Aaron Chown/PA Wire/PA Images

Archbishop of Southwark John Wilson has expressed his sadness and shock at Sunday's terror attack in Streatham, in which a teacher at a Catholic school was injured.

Monika Luftner, 51, a teacher at St Bede’s Catholic Infant and Nursery School, is recovering from wounds after she was stabbed in the bac" by Sudesh Amman, 20, on Streatham High Road on Sunday afternoon.

Born in Poland, she had made her way to Streatham to meet friends at a cafe, accompanied by her 12-year-old daughter. She was stabbed on her way back.

Archbishop Wilson said: "It is both saddening and shocking that, yet again, there has been a terrorist attack on innocent bystanders on a street in London. A normal Sunday afternoon in Streatham became the scene for a violent attack.

"For those who think that terrorism can achieve anything we commit ourselves with determination to saying 'no' to violence on our streets and within our communities.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured and with their families, and with all affected by this senseless assault. We thank our emergency services for their support and response.

"We will continue to stand together as a community. We will not allow this event, terrible though it is, to divide us. We are from different countries and religious beliefs, but we are united in our common humanity and our shared desire for a peaceful coexistence where every person is respected and can live in safety.

"As the Catholic community in Streatham we will continue to build good relations and work for the common good of all those who call this part of London their home. Violence solves nothing. We are, and remain, a people united for peace."

Amman, recently released from prison, stabbed two people before being shot dead by plainclothes police just after 2pm on Sunday. He had been released after serving half of a three-year sentence for possession and dissemination of terrorist publications. Living in a bail hostel and subject to a number of restrictions on his activity due to his previous conviction, including a curfew, Amman was reportedly under police surveillance at the time of the attack. 

St Bede’s said Mrs Luftner is now making a good recovery "after experiencing a shocking attack" and that she is being “supported by the school community”. Mrs Luftner, who teaches children aged three and four, is currently at home with her husband after being discharged from hospital on Sunday evening. Another victim, a woman in her 20s, has also been discharged from hospital after sustaining minor injuries. A man in his 40s remains hospitalised, although in a stable condition. 



  Loading ...
Get Instant Access
Subscribe to The Tablet for just £7.99

Subscribe today to take advantage of our introductory offers and enjoy 30 days' access for just £7.99