Stabbed head teacher 'critical'

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The Independent Online

A London head teacher was fighting for his life last night after he was stabbed at his school while protecting a pupil who was attacked by an armed gang as he left to go home.

Philip Lawrence, head of St George's Roman Catholic School in Maida Vale, west London, intervened after one of his schoolboys was approached by a gang and a fight broke out.

He was stabbed in the chest in the ensuing fracas but managed to stagger back into the school to raise the alarm. The gang made off on foot into roads nearby.

Police and ambulances were called and paramedics performed emergency surgery on Mr Lawrence before he was taken under police escort to St Mary's Hospital, in Paddington, where he underwent further surgery. Afterwards a spokesman described his condition as "extremely critical".

The schoolboy who was initially approached by the gang was taken to hospital with head injuries.

Detectives refused to comment on claims by pupils that the stabbing had been carried out by a member of a triad gang. Detective Superintendent Brian Edwards said: "I refuse to speculate."

In another stabbing incident yesterday, in north London, two men, one of them a clergyman, were injured.