Monday, 18 October 2021

Knifeman is still on loose, warns car attack victim

A PENSIONER whose leg was slashed with a knife in Sonning Common is urging police to bring his attacker to justice.

Ben Borsberry’s trousers were ripped when he struggled with a man who got into his car as he was driving home from a shopping trip.

The 79-year-old had just left the One Stop shop in Wood Lane and was setting off when a man wearing a heavy jacket appeared and started running along the passenger side of the vehicle.

Mr Borsberry, who lives in the village, stopped and opened his window to talk to the man but he clambered inside and refused to get out.

The retired aircraft engineer then parked outside the village hall where he knew his vehicle could be seen by CCTV cameras.

At this point the man asked him to take him “down the road” and threatened to hurt him if he resisted.

Mr Borsberry said: “I felt something on my leg and looked down to see the knife. He had the handle up his sleeve and tried to cut the blade down on to my left thigh. 

“Fortunately, I had a big wad of handkerchiefs in my pocket so he did not cut my skin. Once I realised this, I grabbed his wrist and held it really hard.” Mr Borsberry manoeuvred himself to get out of the car and pulled the keys out of the ignition before placing them on the roof through the window.

He then pushed his door open and tumbled out backwards on to the road.

Mr Borsberry said: “I got up and was obviously a bit shaken. The man tried to grab the keys from the top of my car but I got there first.

“He then ran off down the street towards Kennylands Road. I felt like going after him — if I was younger, I could have had him.”

Mr Borsberry ran inside the nearby Co-operative Food store and called the police.

Police took DNA samples from his vehicle and obtained the CCTV footage from the parish council.

However, nobody has been arrested since the incident, which happened at about 5.30pm on February 14.

Mr Borsberry, who is being treated for prostate cancer, is concerned that the man could strike again.

He said: “He needs to be apprehended because he was carrying a knife and was prepared to use it. He slashed my trousers but didn’t cut my leg open because there was stuff in my pocket. I’m worried the police could have let it slip. There are a number of car parks in the village and the man could re-offend. It could happen to someone else.

“There’s nothing more I can do to help the police. They have photographs from the parish council, the DNA and my statements. I thought they would have enough to make a charge but obviously not.”

He added: “I could not believe that this sort of thing was happening in Sonning Common.”

Mr Borsberry said that Pc Sue Bradshaw, who dealt with his case, had been very helpful, adding: “She has done a good job. Without her, I don’t think it would have got this far.”

A Thames Valley Police spokesman confirmed that no arrests had been made.

Meanwhile, Sonning Common Parish Council is still awaiting a reply from the police and the Thames Valley crime commissioner Antony Stansfeld after after it complained about the force’s response to an arson attack in which four stolen golf buggies were set on fire at the village’s skate park.

Parish clerk Philip Collings said: “We’ve heard diddly squat from him, though the officer investigating says the police are not going to get anywhere.”

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