Updated: 5th December 2005 : Just wanted to add the link from the comments: www.abigailwitchallstrust.org.uk

Abigail Witchalls’ attacker first grabbed her two-year-old son and held a knife to his neck, she has told police

I was sitting in the car listening to the radio when the Surrey Police began their press conference on the Abigail Witchallls attack. What horrified me most was the way she described the attack. I can’t understand how some people think, or what drives them to do such terrible things. Why her? Wrong place wrong time? That was just terrible luck. There doesn’t even appear to have been a motive for the attack, which makes it even more senseless.
To hold a knife to the throat of her 18month old son. Could this really be someone of the same human race that I am a member of?
Ok, the person is definitely not normal, and I’d go as far to say that he was not even criminal in his intent, but sick, mentally sick.

People commit crimes out of need or greed or a combination of both.
When someone attacks a person and causes them injury during a fight, most often or not, it is temper that drives them to commit that act and they tend to always later regret their actions. In that case they didn’t intend to set out to hurt someone, it just happened. I can understand that. I don’t condone it, but I can understand it.

When someone knowingly seeks out someone with whom they have a grievance with intent to cause harm, then here too you could say that this is some sort of delayed temper. Again I can understand the action, but in no way condone it.

What I cannot understand is the ability of someone to take life without reason, without a purpose. To have angst against society and take out revenge on random people could probably explain such acts, such as the case in Hungerford many years ago. But this is an act of someone who is mentally ill.

To take an 18 month old baby, hold a knife to his throat, threaten the mother and then stab the mother in front of her child?

It was not carried out in the name of need or greed, but because of the state of mind of the attacker at the time. The attacker is as sick as the act itself to us ‘normal’ people.
What she must have been going through, none of us will ever understand. Add to that the feeling of waking up paralyzed unable to speak, unable to ask about her son, unable to talk to those around her. To have all of her emotions trapped inside? It must be so frightening for her, and painful for her friends and family.

I found myself quite angry at how someone could carry out such an act. I am nowhere near the area where it happened, yet I searched the car park around me looking for the car in the description, searching for the occupant. Wanting to see the face of someone who could do such a thing. Yet, in another thought, I wondered what I would do if I did see that person and found myself wanting to exact the same thing he had carried out on Abilgail? Anger? Would it make me commit the same on him?

Either way, they know the car type, they know the colour, they know the area, they know the description of the man that carried out the attack. So someone else must recognize him or the car and hopefully he will be caught. Not tried and jailed as a criminal, but tried and treated as someone who is sick, very sick. And if locking them up for the rest of their life is the treatment then so be it. I’m all for a permanent deletion from the gene pool.

My thoughts go out to Abigail and her friends and family. Its not often that something shocks or effects me as much as this. Even the death and injury from the Japan train crash didn’t come close to the way this attack made me feel. I could explain the train crash, but I cannot understand the attack.

BBC News