Youth bailed after 'hero' volunteer stabbed

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A 16-year-old arrested on suspicion of stabbing a church volunteer was today released on bail, Scotland Yard said.

The victim, named in reports as Simon Somerville, was attacked outside an anti-crime seminar at a theatre in Deptford, south east London.

He was stabbed repeatedly when he confronted a rowdy gang outside a meeting for young Christians, and remains critically ill in hospital.

The 41-year-old's brother-in-law Eddie Hypolite told the London Evening Standard: "The gang had been making trouble outside the event and when Simon was leaving the building with a number of his kids, they were attacked.

"Simon stood between the gang members and his kids. He was protecting them. He was trying to be the peacemaker and one of the gang members just went at him with a knife.

"The children told us that if Simon had not stepped in, they could have been killed. Simon is a hero. He almost died because he protected the children in his care."

A second victim, a 16-year-old boy, suffered stab wounds to his lower body when he stepped in to help the man at around 9.15pm on Wednesday night, Scotland Yard said. He was treated and discharged.

Officers had already been alerted to a large group of youths causing trouble outside the event in Douglas Way shortly before 7pm.

The teenager who was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder was bailed until a later date.

Anyone who witnessed the attack is asked to contact Lewisham police station on 0300 1231234.