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Man who wanted to be ‘The Punisher’ jailed for stabbing woman in Ilford

Connor Deegan liked to dress up as ‘The Punisher’ (Credit: Metropolitan Police)

A man who believed he had a comic-book alter-ego has been jailed for attacking a woman in Ilford. 

Connor Deegan lured an 18-year-old woman to the toilets at Little Ilford Park by pretending he was taking her to Ilford railway station on Monday, 17 February 2020. 

The 21-year-old knew the victim and said he had a surprise for her but when they went inside he stabbed her multiple times in her neck and stomach.

She lay motionless until Deegan left the scene and then managed to make her way to a nearby house for help. 

The residents quickly called an ambulance and paramedics rushed to the scene to treat the victim. 

She was taken to the Royal London Hospital where she received lifesaving treatment for extremely serious injuries. 

An investigation was launched and police established Deegan had told people, as he fled the scene, that he wanted to “give her a choke-hold” that he believed would turn him into TV and comic book character ‘The Punisher’ and then take her to the park and kill her. 

He was arrested at a nearby address within six hours of the attack taking place. 

When he was found he was still wearing blood soaked clothing and was in possession of a bag that contained a large combat knife, a balaclava, black gloves and a pocket knife. 

Detectives later found pictures of Deegan dressed as ‘The Punisher’ and text messages where he talked about creating his own weaponry including body armour. 

He also took part in cosplay and attended local cosplay events in the guise of the character. 

Deegan left his mobile phone at the scene of the crime and was charged within 24 hours of his arrest. 

He pleaded guilty to attempted murder, theft and possession of an offensive weapon at Inner London Crown Court. 

Deegan was sentenced to nine years and four months imprisonment at the same court on Monday, 17 May. 

In an impact statement presented to the court, the victim said she regularly has panic attacks and cries uncontrollably for hours and has been left with lifelong physical scars. 

Detective James Cronin, of the North East BCU Safeguarding Unit, said: “Deegan committed a cold, calculated and savage attack on a victim who is very lucky to have survived.

“Had it not been for the help she received from the community immediately following the attack, and the assistance provided by first responders and medical specialists, the outcome could have been even more severe.

“For the victim, the resulting scars from this incident will not only be physical, and they will last far beyond the healing of wounds.

“I would like thank all the witnesses from the local community who came forward to assist our investigation and the many police officers and medics who have helped remove this dangerous individual from our streets.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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