19/08/2018 20:56 BST

Joe Xuereb Arrested On Suspicion Of Attempted Murder After Mother And Daughter Attacked In Greenwich

Witnesses have described the harrowing scene.

PA Wire/PA Images
Police in Adderley Gardens, Greenwich, south-east London, after a mother and daughter where left fighting for their lives when a stranger launched an unprovoked hammer attack on them in the street.

Police have arrested a 27-year-old man following a manhunt after a mother and daughter were attacked with a hammer in Greenwich on Sunday.

Joe Xuereb was arrested at 7.35pm on suspicion of two counts of attempted murder. 

The two women, aged 64 and 30, are in a critical condition after being attacked at random in Adderley Gardens, in south-east London.

Officers were called at 12.10pm to find the women suffering from devastating injuries “consistent with a violent assault”, Scotland Yard said.

They are both in hospital. Their next-of-kin have been informed.

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

Met Police
Joe Xuereb was arrested on suspicion of two counts of attempted murder. 

Xuereb, who police were appealing for the public’s help in tracing, was 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.

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 retired TV engineer told the Press Association: “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.”

PA Wire/PA Images
Police talk to residents in Adderley Gardens, Greenwich, south-east London, following the attack.
PA Wire/PA Images
Items left on the ground in Adderley Gardens, Greenwich.

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.”