A humble hero who works security at Holloway Waitrose played a crucial role in police catching the man who stabbed a mother in front of her toddler.
Victor Ikeakhe, 46, helped officers identify Musa Ismail after he attacked Christel Stanfield-Bruce in Caedmon Road on July 18, and the security guard gave the cops two tip-offs over 48 hours when he saw the knifeman wondering up Holloway Road, which led to his arrest.
Musa was sentenced to four years and eight months imprisonment last week, plus a further three years on licence – and Christel and her husband Quinn have now spoken of their gratitude to Victor, whose actions helped get them justice.
After we tracked him down, Victor told the Gazette: “I don’t want people to say I’m a hero. I just want people to know I did it because it had to be done, that’s it.
“I was dedicated on this issue and I put a lot of effort in because I was so angry. I knew who [Ismail] was and police were struggling.
“I feel happy that police caught him. I was not happy with what happened, not just because it’s Quinn’s wife: you can’t do that to anyone.
“This is something we hear on the news every day and it’s terrible. I know the police are trying their best but it’s tight and they’re struggling as well. I think the general public should always try as much as possible to support the police.”
After Christel was attacked officers asked to view Waitrose’s CCTV and gave a description of Musa. Victor said he knew him as an “aggressive” shoplifter. He stood vigil waiting for him and twice called police when he saw Musa and “his crew” walk passed, leading to his arrest on the second occasion.
Quinn told the Gazette: “What he did was above well above and beyond, so for us it’s a very big deal. Victor is a really humble guy. He is a pillar of the community. For me what’s heart-warming is this isn’t someone with his head in the sand. As Edmund Burke said: ‘Evil will flourish when good men do nothing.’
“It’s someone who saw he could do something, and he did. It’s a wonderful thing he did. In all honesty it gives me faith in the community. It gives me faith in people. In a situation where you could feel quite isolated, cold, fearful or threatened there’s people who care around.”
He said the actions of Victor have given him “hope” against the backdrop of a worsening violent crime crisis in the capital.
Quinn added: “People are going around day-to-day thinking ‘it’s not going to happen to me’, but that’s not the case. People have had enough.
“The drugs problem in the streets of Islington, and Holloway in particular, is really bad. If we all came together we could sort our own community out and push this up the chain.”
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