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Mother speaks out after son Matthew Cornelissen knifed at The Vines, Rochester

By Jess Sharp

A distraught mother has urged parents to be vigilant after her son was stabbed and robbed as he made his way home from a meal with friends.

Lesley Gordon-Davey said she is "angry and upset and confused" after her 20-year-old son Matthew Cornelissen was knifed three times after he and a friend were confronted by a group of eight youths.

They had been walking through The Vines, behind Rochester High Street, at 11.30pm on Saturday after leaving a restaurant in the town centre, where they had been part of a group celebrating a birthday.

Matthew Cornelissen was knifed for his jacket and his phone
Matthew Cornelissen was knifed for his jacket and his phone

Matthew had his mobile phone and coat stolen and was stabbed once in his shoulder and twice in his left arm.

He is now home and recovering from his injuries. His 19-year-old friend’s phone was also taken.

Mum Lesley Gordon-Davey, 50, said: “I am so angry and upset and confused.

“They took the shortcut through The Vines and were confronted.

“To all parents out there please warn your children to be vigilant and more aware of what’s going on."

The Vines in Rochester
The Vines in Rochester

She added: “I don’t even know what to think I could have lost my son.

“If it had been just 10cm to the left, he could have been stabbed in his heart.

“I can’t sleep at all I haven’t even been to bed.

“I always take Matthew everywhere, pick him up and drop him off but recently he has be saying to me he was going to walk home because the weather has been getter better and this was the one time I didn’t get him.

“I hear about this kind of thing happening in London but not in Rochester

“I keep going over and over it in my head, he was just innocently walking home and these thugs attacked him for no reason. They were laying in wait for someone.

“I want parents to warn their children that if they are going to walk home at night, don’t do it alone, don’t go into a park, don’t go into dark places and be careful.”

One of the offenders is described as a young white man, of chunky build with blonde hair. He was wearing a hooded top, blue jeans and white trainers.

Detective Inspector Beverley Morrison said: “We are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and may have seen – or have dash cam footage of – the incident.

“We would also like to hear from anyone who recognises the description of the offender or who has information about the robbery.”

Rochester MP Kelly Tolhurst has offered her support to residents.

Kelly Tolhurst MP
Kelly Tolhurst MP

She posted on Facebook: “I have been in contact with the chief inspector at Medway police this morning.

“At this stage it appears to have been an isolated incident but anyone who thinks they have any information or witnessed any activity please can you report it to police.

“If anyone has any worries please do email me at kelly.tolhurst.mp@parliament.uk.

“My thoughts are with those affected and their families.”

Mrs Gordon went on to thank all of those that helped during the incident, including police, paramedics, hospital staff and an eyewitness who came forward with information.

In her post on Facebook she said: “To the ambulance service and staff at Medway Hospital, a huge thank you for treating him with such care and diligence.

“To the eyewitness, a huge thank you for calling the police and ambulance and for coming forward with your statements.

“To the police a huge thank you for all you do on a daily basis and may God be your guide and protect you in your tasks.”

If you can help please phone 01634 792 209 quoting reference number 08-2019.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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