Trial of man accused of stabbing City worker Qingqing Rao in Dagenham begins
PUBLISHED: 12:36 10 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:47 10 October 2017
A young City worker who was stabbed and “left for dead” minutes from her Dagenham home is likely to never recover from her “catastrophic” injuries, a court has heard.
Victim Qingqing Rao, now 30, requires round-the-clock care in a nursing home after she was stabbed in her head and vagina as she made her way home on February 13 2017.
Defendant Barry Peacham, is alleged to have carried out the attack in Castle Green Park before making off with the married victim’s handbag, phone and computer.
The Old Bailey trial was told Peacham then discarded the lower-value items before returning to his then-home in nearby Maplestead Road, where he was described as being out of breath, wearing gloves, had a rip to his jeans and was walking with a limp.
The victim’s credit cards were later recovered from a nearby drain - with jurors told they were dropped there by Peacham in the aftermath of the attack. The computer has never been found.
Peacham, 26, denies attempted murder and robbery and said another man carried out the attack.
Opening the case, prosecutor Julian Evans said: “Had she (Ms Rao) not been attacked it should only have taken her minutes to get home.
“However, tragically she never made it home.
“She was attacked as she walked through the park - by this defendant, the Crown say - and was literally left for dead.”
Mr Evans said there was “no doubt” the victim was robbed, and that the attacker intended to kill her.
It was, the court heard, an attack which was not witnessed by anyone.
Mr Evans said: “It is the prosecution case that the defendant is the man who surprised the victim as she made her way through Castle Green Park heading home, and that he was the man who attacked her with a knife, stabbed her in the head and in the vagina, made off with her handbag and her tablet computer and who later discarded some of her possessions.”
Describing the victim’s “catastrophic” injuries, he said Ms Rao underwent emergency surgery following the attack.
“She was treated in hospital for many months and she is currently receiving 24-hour care in a nursing home,” he said.
“She is in a persistent vegetative state from which it is unlikely she will ever recover.”
Peacham, who wore a short-sleeved white shirt and jeans, shook his head as Mr Evans outlined the case.