My boy has been left to rot in a hotel room, says mother of stab victim
Plea to move away from area where 15-year-old was attacked with a 'Rambo' knife
24 May, 2018 — By William McLennan
A 15-year-old boy who narrowly escaped with his life when he was stabbed seven times in Somers Town has been “left to rot” in a hotel room and has even needed vitamin injections due to a lack of sunlight, his mother has said.
Amanda Gay and her children have been unable to return to their home since the targeted attack in April.
The New Journal reported earlier this month that Ms Gay had made desperate pleas to help her son as she witnessed him become gripped by postcode gang disputes in the months before the stabbing.
Camden Council said it would urgently arrange accommodation outside the borough, but today (Thursday), four weeks after the attack, the family are living in a hotel room next to an industrial estate while the 15-year-old recovers from his horrific injuries.
His mother said: “We need to be safe. I need to get him away from this mindset. It’s not going to happen overnight. You’re talking about four weeks now. He’s been stuck in a bed in hospital and then stuck in the hotel. Left in here, he just gets frustrated. If he wants to change his life he needs to start doing it now, but they’re leaving us. I feel like we are being left to rot. It’s really a horrible feeling, because we have got no self-worth.”
She is waiting to be re-housed outside London.
“We need to get away,” she said. “I want him to have a nice bit of fresh air and be able to walk about.” Ms Gay said that previous attempts to provide the family with temporary accommodation had been “completely unsuitable” and had placed them in danger. For three days last week, her son refused to leave the hotel room, while feeling depressed about his uncertain future, his mother said.
Nurses from Great Ormond Street Hospital, who are treating him for a pre-existing chronic health condition, administered a vitamin D injection because they were worried about the lack of sunlight.
Ms Gay said he had yet to receive any physiotherapy or counselling since the attack in Phoenix Road when two suspects pulled up on a moped and plunged a hunting knife into his legs and chest on April 20.
The “Rambo-style” knife punctured his lung and severed tendons in his leg as it passed through his thigh. Knowing her son was getting caught up in territorial disputes involving young men and teenage boys from neighbourhoods in Camden, Islington and Hackney, Ms Gay had sought help from the council, but found its response lacking.
Ms Gay’s candid account offers a rare counterbalance to the belief that the parents of young people involved in gang violence are either absent or unaware of their child’s actions.
She said: “I can’t stand here and say my boy is a good boy. I’d be lying. I have to be honest and say he was involved. He got himself involved and I tried to get help. That’s all I can honestly say.”
In her desperation, Ms Gay turned to Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer. His office helped her with benefit applications.
A council spokesman said: “The council is continuing to work with the family to help resolve the safety issues they are experiencing. “They are in temporary accommodation we arranged for them out of the borough, while we work to secure a permanent housing solution.”