Man sentenced for knife-wielding rampage in south London

PUBLISHED: 15:05 05 August 2014 | UPDATED: 15:05 05 August 2014

Foster's victims could have been killed were it not for the bravery of strangers who stepped in to stop him [Photo courtesy of Met Police]

Foster's victims could have been killed were it not for the bravery of strangers who stepped in to stop him [Photo courtesy of Met Police]


A man who went on a knife-wielding rampage in south London could spend the rest of his life in a mental hospital.

Archibald Reverent Foster, 48, tried to murder two women last year, has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order, only to be released on the decision of the Home Secretary.

In August 2013, he attacked a woman in broad daylight as she walked down Bromley Road in the morning rush hour.

He stabbed her in the hand arm and leg, and she was only saved from more serious injuries by her handbag, which she used to shield her stomach, and a passer-by.

John Wayre, 69, bravely stepped in and pulled Foster off of his bleeding 26-year-old victim.

Have-a-go hero Mr Wayre has received two awards for his bravery, including one from Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

His Honour Judge Topolski said his courage was “breathtaking, helping an innocent person without regard to himself”. He issued Mr Wayre with a Judge’s commendation for bravery and £750 from the public purse.

Foster fled the scene, and went uncaught until he went on another rampage a few weeks later.

In September 2013, Foster approached a woman from behind as she walked across Plumstead Common and slashed her across the throat before stabbing her.

He continued to stab her in the legs as she lay bleeding on the floor.

The 31-year-old was taken by London’s Air Ambulance to a south London hospital suffering from five serious stab wounds to her legs. She also suffered further injuries to her hands, fingers and neck.

Foster was arrested shortly afterwards on a bus in Plumstead, on suspicion of GBH and robbery. The knife was found in his bag. Police realised that he could be responsible for the earlier attack, and he was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder.

Investigating officer Acting Detective Sergeant Stephanie Chance, said: “I would like to thank the two victims for their courage and the support they’ve given to the investigation throughout. This was a horrific, unprovoked attack on them both and I wish them the very best for the future.

“I would also like to commend the bravery of each of the witnesses who went to the aid of both victims. Without their courage and intervention these attacks could well have been fatal.

“I am very pleased with the sentence, a very dangerous man is now off the streets and is receiving the care and treatment that he requires.

“I would also like to thank DC Shukeil Mandala from Lewisham for his assistance in this investigation, leading to the conviction of Mr Foster.”

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