Shopper tells of knife ordeal

A woman's shopping expedition turned into a horrifying ordeal at the hands of a knife-wielding robber in which she feared for her life.

Nova Hughes, 24, a trainee buyer for Marks and Spencer, was grabbed at knifepoint in a supermarket car park in Shepherd's Bush, west London, last Saturday afternoon and forced into the boot of her hatchback car.

She spoke for the first time of her ordeal yesterday, just hours after a similar attack a few miles away.

"There was a hand on my mouth and a knife by my throat. A guy said `I have got a knife, I want the money'," Ms Hughes told a news conference yesterday.

"I put my hands down. He got behind me and he told me to get into the boot." She told her attacker that she was scared and suffered from claustrophobia and begged him to let her go.

"I told him I didn't want to get in but he forced me in." Her ordeal ended about 45 minutes later when the 6ft man ran off, leaving the boot open, after withdrawing pounds 200 from her bank account with her cash card.

Ms Hughes appealed to anyone who saw the man in the car park last Saturday to come forward.

"I think he has done it before. The whole time he was completely in control. When I panicked he told me to calm down. I think he could do it again," she said.

NCP, which owns the car park, has offered a pounds 5,000 reward for information leading to the man's arrest. It has promised a review of the security at the car park.

A carbon-copy attack occurred at 10.30pm on Wednesday in Hampstead, north London, when a man snatched a 54-year-old woman from the street, took her bank cards and locked her in her car boot.

The woman suffered a cut face. She was forced to hand over her bank cards and PIN numbers and driven around for 80 minutes before being freed in an underground car park.

Last night James Nicholas Pierre, 29, unemployed, of Manor Park, east London, was charged with kidnapping a woman of 54, robbery and aggravated taking and driving away of a vehicle.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Microsoft Dynamics Consultant - Watford - £65,000 + Bonus.

£50000 - £65000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: Dynamics Expert...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - London - up to £48,000

£38000 - £48000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Senior ...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fully qualified electricians re...

Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower