Norwich man killed in knife attack

A FORMER Norwich man has become the latest victim of London's knife crime epidemic, it emerged today.Andrew Pratt, who grew up in the city before moving to the capital, was stabbed to death yards from his home after wrestling with a street robber.

A FORMER Norwich man has become the latest victim of London's knife crime epidemic, it emerged today.

Andrew Pratt, who grew up in the city before moving to the capital, was stabbed to death yards from his home after wrestling with a street robber.

Today his close family, some of whom live in Sprowston, Wymondham and Hellesdon, paid tribute to the “loving” 43-year-old.

They also told how his 75-year-old mother Yvonne Pratt, who lives in Sprowston, had recently voiced fears for her son's safety at a family gathering.

The victim's brother, Chris Pratt, 49, from Wymondham, said: “Mum kept telling Andrew to look after himself - she was terrified after all the stuff she read in the papers about how violent the streets are.

“Andrew hugged her and said 'You know I'm always careful and I know what I'm doing. If anyone tries to mug me for anything, they can have it. I'm safe, don't worry.'”

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Mrs Pratt gave her son the warning when she went to London from her Norwich home with Chris, his wife and their two young children to meet her youngest son and some of his colleagues at a Thai food festival in Battersea Park on Sunday, July 27.

Just seven days later, he was found collapsed and bleeding outside his front door in Northlands Street, London.

Mr Pratt, who had lived in London for more than 20 years was appointed store manager at fashion designer Emilio Pucci's store in Sloane Square just two months ago, but began his career in Norwich city centre working at Benetton clothes store when he was a teenager.

Police believe Mr Pratt fought a hooded man who tried to wrench his Gucci manbag from his shoulder. According to witnesses the attacker knifed Mr Pratt once before calmly walking away.

The Gucci bag, still containing his mobile phone and wallet, was found by officers close by.

Chris said the family were unsure whether they would hold the funeral in Norwich or London and were still waiting for the body to be released.

He said: “I went to see where it happened and he was literally yards from his house when they found him. When I got the phone call I just couldn't believe it.

“The thing in Andrew's case was that somebody's life was taken just for personal possessions. This is a guy who had worked hard that day and was on his way home and lost his life.”

The murder is the latest in a string of violent deaths in the capital. More than a dozen teenagers have been knifed to death in the capital this year alone.

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