1. ITV Report

Machete man attacks church

St Barnabas Church in Orpington Photo: St Barnabas Church

A woman told of her terror after a masked man armed with a machete broke into a church hall and attacked one of her singing group.

Ginny Warner was singing in her local ladies' barbershop group last night when the man broke in and began randomly attacking a pensioner at St Paul's Cray, near Orpington, Kent.

The man had a mask on and either a Mohican haircut or wig and was shouting and swearing as he broke in, moments after smashing up the vicar's car at St Barnabas Church.

It took two passing strangers to bring the horrifying attack to a halt.

"A lady came into the hall and said, 'Are there any men here because there is a lunatic outside the church smashing windows'," Ms Warner said.

"He (the attacker) then went to the vicar's driveway and was smashing up the vicar's car and then he started walking towards where we were.

"I was trying to peep through the curtains to describe him to the police on the phone without being noticed."

"He then went to the vicar's driveway and was smashing up the vicar's car and then he started walking towards where we were.

"I was trying to peep through the curtains to describe him to the police without being noticed."

The man then managed to break into the church hall through a back door.

Ms Warner said: "He had a mask on with a Mohican hairdo attached to it. He was shouting and swearing.

"I ran out but one of the ladies fell over, I don't know if she was pushed or just fell over, but he snatched her walking stick from her and kicked her while she was laying on the ground.

"One of the other singers tried to help and also got hit."

Ms Warner said the police had still not arrived and people had run out of the hall when two passing strangers ran to their aid.

Ms Warner said: "A black guy who was a complete hero arrived and wrestled the guy on to the grass.

"From what I can gather he (the attacker) lost his wife recently, I think she died of cancer, and he was angry at God and anything to do with the church. Other people said he had been a psychiatric patient.

"What made my blood run cold was that when the police arrived they said he had a machete with him as well."

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said a 56-year-old man arrested for assault and criminal damage was being treated in hospital for a hand injury.

He said: "Five people - two women, one in her 80s, another aged approximately 60, and three men - one aged 84 and two in their 60s, have been injured.

"None of the injuries are believed to be serious and none were caused by the machete."