A schizophrenic who stabbed a young mother seven times in the face and neck in an accidental attack while pushing her child in a buggy was imprisoned for life for attempted murder.
Mark Brazant, 44, assaulted married mother Josephine Conlon, 36, and narrowly missed her carotid artery when he slit it open in Streatham on December 30th.
He had been released from prison only six days earlier after serving a prison term for three battery counts and a number of joint assaults on women.
Brazant was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum hybrid hospital and 11 years imprisonment today at the Old Bailey for attempting to murder the mother.
Despite his history of violence against women at risk, he was previously free to roam the streets after his superiors failed to meet him in front of the prison gates.
The footage released last month captured Brazant and his victim as they passed each other on Streatham Hill before he stops outside a shop, turns around and goes after her.
Ms. Conlon, pictured today at the Old Bailey, took a position to tell the court how the attack had changed her life
Mark Brazant, 44, ambushed married mother Josephine Conlon, 36, less than a week after she was released from prison
Josephine Conlon, 36, pictured with husband Greg, was ambushed by violent thug Mark Brazant, 44, in Streatham on December 30, just days after his release from prison
CCTV footage dated December 30th showed the moment she crossed the street with Brazant and prompted the defendant to follow her on the way home after meeting other new mothers at a local bakery.
Brazant – who the judge said had "deep-seated" hostility towards women – pushed her to the ground from behind, stabbed her, and left her for dead when she screamed blood clotting over the phone line.
Thug's story of attacking lonely women
The court had previously heard that Brazant, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, had in the past attacked single women for no reason and convicted them of carrying a blade.
In January 2017, he collided with a woman, berated her, grabbed her arm and pushed her away.
On November 26th last year, Brazent attacked four women on the same day, grabbing one by the neck after accusing her of smiling at him, and slapping another for laughing.
He pleaded guilty to three battery charges and one joint assault, but was released on Christmas Eve with the Thameside Prison license to monitor for a year after the conviction.
He initially denied an attempted murder, but later changed his plea during the trial.
Brazant had pleaded guilty at the beginning of the trial to having once possessed an offensive weapon and three points with pointed / blade-like objects.
While admitting stabbing her several times with a kitchen knife, the court heard that he was "acutely psychotic" – he had suffered from schizophrenia and a personality disorder since his early 20s.
Today he was sitting in the dock wearing a dark blue felt jacket and a disposable face mask when he was told that he would not be released until he was no longer a risk to the public.
Judge Angela Rafferty QC told Brazant, “You are completely unpredictable, your hostility towards women is ingrained and poorly understood by you.
“There is no prospect that you will be safely administered in public for the foreseeable future.
“Just because you have. Mental illness does not relieve you of responsible actions. In your case, you have a very long history of non-compliance with mental health services.
“You know exactly what the consequences will be if you don't take your medication. You thought very clearly before, during and after the attack. You chose her because she was small and vulnerable.
You decide to make a young, light mother push a stroller, you followed her to a dark and inaccessible place, chose a knife from your pocket and made seven wounds on her neck and face.
“I also find that you showed a profound hostility towards women at the time that is not explained by your diagnosis of mental illness. They tend to target women on the street.
"I accept that your insanity played a part in your insult, but I think your guilt is great."
Josephine Conlon can be seen pushing her daughter in a stroller across Streatham Hill on December 30th – moments later, she would suffer a vicious attack by Brazant
Seconds later, Branzant walks past, stops in front of a shop with a cigarette, and then goes after Conlon, whom he stabbed seven times in the face and neck
Josephin Conlon, a mother of three, previously told a court that she only realized she had been stabbed when she felt blood in her body
She concluded, “It is impossible to tell when you are no longer at risk.
“There are a number of factors related to your illness and other personality traits that make it unsafe whether you are ever safe to be released.
& # 39; This justifies a life sentence. No other sentence offers adequate protection for the public.
She turned to Ms. Conlon and said, “The court commends you both for the calm and steadfastness you have shown in this case and in this proceeding.
The court hopes that over time the effects of the trauma will subside and that your family will lead full and happy lives again.
"Ms. Conlon, your daughter will certainly be very proud of the courage and strength of her mother, who did not die that day but fought valiantly."
Brazant was given two years each for carrying out the three knife-possession crimes and 22 years for attempted murder, but was told that he would have to serve at least eleven years.
Prior to his conviction, defense attorney Oliver Renton described his probation service as a "potentially catastrophic failure".
Regarding the comments made by Ben Omullo, a team leader at Enriched Care Limited mental health facility, he said, “The court will recall Ben Omullo's evidence regarding expectations he had regarding Mr. Brazant's release from prison.
He expected Mr. Brazant's care coordinator to help Mr. Brazant get a taxi from the prison to the hostel.
"That's what the court might consider if a man had gone to prison after a well-documented descent into mental health crisis, it would be some sort of pastoral care tailored to ensure he has a fair chance at an item of regaining. " Stability on his release from prison. & # 39;
Ms. Conlon was attacked while walking down Streatham Hill with her stroller in December
He added: “After all, this was a man who is known to become paranoid and unreasonable because of his illness.
“A man who would react unusually badly to the difficult transition between institutional prison life and the freer and possibly more chaotic existence outside the walls of the institution.
But what actually happened when he was released? Mr Brazant had to make his own way back to the hostel. An appointment was booked with probation. In his honor, Mr. Brazant attended this visit.
& # 39; He was sent away. Said they had no record of booking. In retrospect, a potentially catastrophic failure to provide any form of structure and oversight to Mr Brazant.
Knowing that Mr. Brazant, whose paranoia before his imprisonment increasingly focused on the irrational belief that the people at the hostel were trying to injure or kill him, had not returned there but wandered the streets and slept on buses.
In this sleepless, psychotic daze, Mr. Brazant decided to take out a knife and attack someone. That he chose Mrs. Conlon. & # 39;
Ms. Conlon responded to tell the court how the attack had changed her life.
She said, “I've worked really hard to rebuild myself. Immediately after the attack, I was stripped of my confidence and feared I would leave the house.
“It took me many months to go out on my own. I still can't leave my house after dark.
“I am a very positive and sociable person and I love being busy and hate being locked in at home. I keep my weekends and evenings full before the attack. It was six months before I could go back to work.
“The physical wounds were difficult to deal with because they were so visible on my face and neck. They remind me every time I look in the mirror.
“The fact that I was so close to losing my life was hard to deal with. I feel like I let my daughter down by leading her into such a dangerous situation.
"It could have been so different, the buggy could have rolled down Streatham Hill and onto the street."
She added: "The fact that the defendant turned around a few weeks later and admits his guilt shows how selfish and self-centered he is."
In a separate statement, her husband Greg said, “Jo will never be able to go out with the same confidence and freedom as before. She always looks over her shoulder.
“I too have to be careful where I stand in relation to her. Months after the incident, if I fell behind and caught up with her, she would be in shock.
"This is a part that I don't think will ever go away."