News December 2009

Golden Gloves champ protects youngsters from 30 strong gang

13.12.09

Former NYC Golden Gloves champion and now a church worker, 41-year old Simon Somerville was declared a hero after he stepped in between a group of youngsters he was looking after and a 30-strong gang of knife wielding hoodies in Deptford, South East London in October this year.

Suffering horrific knife injuries, Simon was knifed in both lungs and twice in the heart. He 'died' twice on the way to hospital and was in coma.

Against all the odds, the youth worker regained conciousness a fortnight later.

"For a while I could not even speak or move" said Simon.

"I had to learn to walk again and wear a tracheotomy because I couldn't breathe. But I had a lot of support from friends and family".

The youth worker had taken a group of youngsters, including his 16 year old son, Sha, to an anti-crime event. When they were returning to their minibus a group of hoodies, with lit fireworks were pushing them in the kid's faces.

One began brandishing a knife and at that point Simon stepped between the gang and his youngsters to protect them, before being savagely attacked by the cowards.

"We were heading towards our van when this group of hooded young men appeared, some on bikes. They started pushing my group and waving lit fireworks in their faces.

When I saw a knife being pulled out, I got between the gang and my young people. " Said Simon.

"There was no way I was taking away young people in a body bag and it was instinctive to defend them."

Following the attack a 16-year old youth has been charged with attempted murder, whilst four others are charged with GBH and affray.

"I don't feel animosity towards them. They need help."

"And I'd work with them. Sometimes when your young you get caught up with things. And when your in a jail cell..who will help them ? "

"I want to take something positive from this and get out there, helping take young people to a whole new level." Said Simon.

Simon Somerville is nominated for a Barnado's award for his outstanding bravery.

To support this noble charity please visit Barnado's HERE as every £1 that is donated, 94p goes to charity.

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