Man arrested over attempted murder of pregnant woman was 'known to victim'

By John Mercury December 6, 2023

A pregnant woman stabbed in Aberfan, South Wales, was the victim of a “targeted attack” and a local man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder was “known to the victim,” police have said.

The 29-year-old woman has been taken to hospital. Her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, South Wales Police Chief Inspector Rob Miles said.

The 28-year-old suspect was taken into police custody.

Local schools and childcare facilities were placed into lockdown as a precaution after the incident.

Seven-hour police manhunt – as it happened

The scene on Moy Road in the village of Aberfan, Merthyr, South Wales, after a 29-year-old woman was stabbed around 9.10am this morning. South Wales Police said armed officers are searching for a male suspect. Picture date: Tuesday December 5, 2023.
The scene on Moy Road in the village of Aberfan, Merthyr, South Wales, after a 29-year-old woman was stabbed around 9.10am this morning. South Wales Police said armed officers are searching for a male suspect. Picture date: Tuesday December 5, 2023.

In a statement, Chief Inspector Miles said: “I appreciate there will be a real sense of shock to the local community with the attack having happened in broad daylight.

“Local schools activated their lockdown protocols to keep people safe. Neighbourhood officers had been in the area to ensure pupils had been able to leave the schools safely at the normal time. This was done as a precaution and schools will open tomorrow as normal.

“This was a targeted attack. The woman remains in hospital with injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening at this time.”

The incident took place on Moy Road just before 9.10am this morning.

Several local facilities – including Greenfield School and The Trinity Childcare and Family Centre – locked down shortly after the police manhunt was launched.

Police at Moy Road in Aberfan
Police at the scene of the stabbing in Aberfan

Katie Roberts, who lives near the scene, told Sky News: “I heard some screams this morning. I looked out my window and saw a man on top of a woman.

“I thought he was punching her at first – but then I realised he was stabbing her in the back.

“I ran out of the house immediately after. I ran to her in the street and held towels against her wounds.”

Valleys community ‘shocked’ after stabbing

“Everyone knows everyone,” that’s how one resident described the community of Aberfan, in Merthyr Tydfil.

Those living in this South Wales valleys community are all too familiar with tragedy.

This was the very community devastated by the collapse of a colliery spoil tip in 1966, which killed 116 children and 28 adults.

Today, when local nurseries and schools were put into lockdown, some feared the worst.

Pauline Hopkins, who lives on Moy Road, was out for a walk when she told me she had been left “shocked” by the incident.

“You hear about it in other places but when it’s on your doorstep, it’s different, isn’t it?”

Tom Power, while walking his son home from school after the lockdown was lifted, said: “Most of the people are very close.”

“Crazy to think that kind of stuff happens,” he told me.

With the update from South Wales Police that the injuries obtained by the 29-year-old victim are “not believed to be life-threatening”, people here are relieved.

There is a sense of relief that a further tragedy for this “close-knit” community has been averted.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We sent one emergency ambulance, one air ambulance and one Cymru high acuity response unit to the scene, where advanced critical care support was delivered by the emergency medical retrieval and transfer service.

“We conveyed one patient by road to University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, for further treatment.”

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