Man arrested after mum and daughter left critically hurt in random hammer attack

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Joe Xuereb has been arrested on suspicion on two counts of attempted murder following a hammer attack in Greenwich (PA)

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a mum and daughter were targeted in an unprovoked hammer attack.

Detectives were hunting for Joe Xuereb, 27, after the women were targeted at random in Adderley Gardens, Greenwich, south-east London, on Sunday.

Officers were called at 12.10pm to find the women, aged 64 and 30, suffering from devastating injuries ‘consistent with a violent assault’, Scotland Yard said.

They were taken to south London hospitals where they are in a critical condition.

The women were targeted at random in Adderley Gardens, Greenwich, on Sunday (PA)

A hammer was recovered from the scene which was ‘believed to have been used in the assault’, a police spokesman said.

Scotland Yard confirmed they arrested Xuereb on suspicion of two counts of attempted murder at 7.35pm.

He had been spotted by a woman who then followed him in her car, until the force were able to detain him on Old Farm Avenue, Sidcup, south-east London.

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The suspect, from Greenwich, is thought to have mental health issues and was last seen travelling on a black and orange bicycle, according to the force.

Witnesses to the attack’s aftermath described a harrowing scene.

Bob Gover, 69, heard a scream outside the window of his flat as a passer-by saw the badly injured victims.

The unprovoked attack left a mother and daughter fighting for their lives (PA)

The retired TV engineer said: ‘I heard a bit of a commotion, I looked outside and there was about half a dozen people out there.

‘I went out there and I saw blood on the face of one of them and I knew something had happened so I ran inside and phoned for an ambulance.

‘One of them was moving at the time and sitting in an upright position with somebody holding her up, while the other one was laying down.

‘They were both covered in blood.’

Police talk to residents following the brutal attack (PA)

The younger woman’s partner was at her side attempting to comfort her when the ambulance arrived, he said.

Detective Superintendent Jane Corrigan said: ‘I would like to pass my thanks to the public and the media for all their support.

‘I am extremely proud of my colleagues and the community, who have all done so much to bring this part of the investigation to a safe resolution.

‘It shows what can be achieved when we all work together.’

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