Elderly singer recalls ordeal at hands of Orpington machete attacker

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 August 2012 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 August 2012

A woman has spoken of the terrifying ordeal that saw five people, including an 84-year-old woman, bloodied by a machete wielding man attacking a St Paul’s Cray church last night (Tuesday).

Jane Livesey, 67, of Sidcup, and her singing group Velvet Harmony were rehearsing at St Barnabas Church, Rushet Road when they were alerted to a 56-year-old man “bashing” windows with a metal bar.

The group quickly locked the doors and drew the curtains before calling the police at around 8.18pm, who later arrested the man for assault and criminal damage.

Jane said: “We had just started when a lady from the church came along saying there is a man out there bashing our windows in.

“We closed the curtain and locked the doors. Two of our ladies called the police, but they didn’t seem to be coming.”

The ladies barracaded themselves inside a room, using tables to block the door but soon found themselves face to face with the attacker after he pushed through the doors with ease.

Jane added: “We all clambered out to the pavement, but we have one lady who is 84 and she was too slow and he bashed her across the face.

“Our chairman was shouting at him and he bashed her too. She has quite a bruised chin.”

Having made their way to the pavement outside the church, the singers were joined by concerned neighbours as one man attempted to tackle the attacker - who Jane did not realise had been masked.

She said: “A black man went up to him and got bashed first of all with a metal bar, but then he wrestled him to the floor and managed to take the bar from him. Another man came over to help keep him restrained.

“Our ladies were in quite a state, there were dribbles of blood everywhere.

“But I have heard everyone is ok - it was all just superficial damage. For something like that to happen is just incredible.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bromley Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Bromley Times