Malaysian student in London survives brutal attack
By John Isaac
A Malaysian student studying in London barely escaped with her life following a brutal hammer attack in her own student hostel.
Abigail Asrina Amiruddin, 23, who is studying animation at Middlesex University in London, suffered an 8cm gash at the back of her head, and another cut on top of her head when her assailant attacked her from behind as she was leaving the kitchen in her hostel in north London.
The attack, which occurred at 8.45am on Feb 28, was allegedly carried out by a fellow student residing in the same student hostel.
Speaking to the New Straits Times, Abigail, who is the only Malaysian student in the hostel, said she just had breakfast and was leaving the kitchen when she felt a blow on the back of her head and collapsed.
Her first thought was that something had fallen from the ceiling, but to her horror, she saw her assailant, a fellow resident of the hostel, standing over her with a hammer.
“He struck me over and over again and I was screaming for help. No one came,” she said.
Abigail, from Kuching, Sarawak, described the attack as surreal as her attacker, with long hair covering his face, silently rained blow after blow on her.
Her arms, which she used to shield her head, bore the brunt of the attack, leaving it swollen and bruised with cuts.
“At one point, when I screamed really loudly, he appeared to snap out of it and fled.
“I was bleeding badly by then all over the carpet. I crawled out to the courtyard where two students helped me and took me to the office,” she said.
She was taken via ambulance to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where she was brought to the trauma unit and had a CT scan performed.
Her head injuries were treated and her left arm was put in a sling.
A police report was made and the attacker is now in police custody pending an appearance in court on March 29.
The police were alerted by a passer-by who saw the attacker running out of the hostel with a hammer in his hand.
A knife was allegedly found in the attacker’s pocket.
It is learnt that the attacker had been described as a loner.
Fellow students said the man, believed to be local, hardly spoke to anyone and would only use the kitchen if no one else was around.
Abigail said she had no idea why she was targeted as she had only met him twice in the kitchen.
“When I greeted him, he would just mumble something and walk away, so I never really spoke to him,” said Abigail, who moved into the student accommodation last October.
“It could have been anyone but it happened to me. I am just so lucky to be alive,” she said.
The attack, however, has left Abigail traumatised. She is still afraid of going to the kitchen as his room is opposite the kitchen.
“There was blood all over the carpet and for days. Even after it was cleaned, we could still smell the blood,” she said, admitting that she had been having sleepless nights.
Middlesex University has since flown Abigail’s mother, Aniza Abdullah, to London following the incident.
Abigail, who is a Yayasan Sarawak Tun Taib scholar, also received a visit from officers from Education Malaysia and Yayasan Sarawak in London.
But now, with her injured wrist and left arm in a sling, Abigail’s main concern is how she will complete her final project in time.
“I’m left-handed and I need to draw using my left hand," she said of her detailed hand-drawn animation project that needs to be submitted in May.
She is still determined to submit it early, although the university told her that they would consider allowing her to take a break and go home with her mother, with lessons done through Skype.
Aniza is understandably worried and wants to take Abigail home.
Abigail, who has a history of Best Student awards and straight A’s to her name, is nevertheless determined to see her project through although it would take a long time.