Recently married Qing Qing Rao has remained in a persistent vegetative state since she was attacked by a male assailant near her home in Dagenham, east London.
The 30-year-old City employee was walking home from work when she was stabbed by Barry Peacham, 26, along a path in Castle Green Park, Mail Online reports. Peacham stole Rao’s handbag, mobile phone, and laptop computer after allegedly lodging a knife into her head and mutilating her. Rao was found lying unconscious on the path where she was attacked. The catastrophic injuries Rao suffered from the ruthless attack on February 13 has left her in the vegetative state which she may “extremely unlikely” ever to recover.
A recent hearing at the Old Bailey has cleared Peacham of an attempted murder charge and instead found him guilty of “wounding with intent and robbery.” Peacham, who had earlier denied the charges, was remanded in custody following his conviction. His sentencing, which may land him life in jail, is scheduled on November 24.
For Scotland Yard’s Detective Chief Inspector Gary Holmes, it was a “crime of pure evil.”
“Peacham is one of the most dangerous men I have ever dealt with in my police career, which spans over 28 years,” Holmes was quoted as saying. “It is incredibly sad for a young woman who had a promising career and had been married less than six months. Tragically she was only two or three minutes from her home and her husband when Peacham struck.”
Court documents revealed that Peacham returned to his then-home in nearby Maplestead Road after the attack. In a nearby drain, the investigators recovered Rao’s credit cards. Other stolen items were also later found and identified by her husband as her belongings.
During the trial, it was also stated that Peacham, a gardener, had previously been convicted of carrying a weapon in public. He had reportedly chased people with a knife at Goresbrook Swimming Pool before his relatives had him restrained in 2008. Two years later, he was also found guilty of robbery and assault with intent to rob, in which he was also found to be carrying a knife in public.
Ansgar Wenzel, Rao’s husband, described his wife as a “wonderful, warm-hearted and happy girl, always friendly and happy to help anyone who needed her help.”
”On the night of 13th February this year, while on the way back from work, my wife of less than six months, my partner for 10 years, my best friend, was brutally assaulted, robbed and stabbed several times a few meters from our home,” Wenzel said. “Since then, she has been in a coma from which she will never wake up from. She was cruelly taken away from me the day before Valentine’s Day, a few days before our 10-year anniversary, for nothing more than her handbag and its contents.”
Rao, who came from rural China in the 1980s, excelled at school despite early hardships while growing up. After working very hard at her schoolwork, she earned a place to study mathematics at Imperial College, where she would later meet Wenzel.