‘Carjacking’ victim, 57, who was stabbed near Kew Gardens top businessman and government adviser

The man stabbed ‘near the heart’ in an attempted car jacking near Kew Gardens has today been named as a top business executive and adviser to the government Eric Salama was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant as he walked to his car from a cafe on Sunday morning The 57-year-old suffered a stab wound to his chest from an ‘enormous knife’ and staggered back to the cafe, where he was given medical help until paramedics arrived Salama is said to be in a stable condition with non life threatening injuries.He is the CEO of the global marketing firm KantarTNS and has served as an advisor to the Government on e-commerce and business He was also a speech writer and researcher for Labour’s front bench on foreign affairs from 1984-1986 Mr Salama is also a trustee of the British Museum and governor of Birbeck college in London A spokesman for Kantar said: ‘We can confirm that Mr Salama was involved in the incident in Kew at the weekend He is recovering well and our thoughts are with him and his family.We would like to request privacy for the family at this time ‘ Mr Salama had been chatting with staff at Café Torrelli about the weekend’s football just before 8am on Sunday before walking back to his car, a sporty Ford Focus RS When he returned to the car he found a thief sitting in the driver’s seat and challenged him Mr Salama, who was described as ‘a well educated, kind man’, was knifed in the chest and had to crawl to the cafe to raise the alarm Shop owner Fasink Nizri, 39, said: ‘It happened in a matter of minutes – two minutes – I saw blood, there was screaming Eric is a decent man and has no problems with anybody.’The person tried to steal his car; he asked ‘what are you doing?’ ‘He was stabbed just near his heart, it was very bad – the knife was enormous – he was hit so hard that the knife it bent ‘Our staff managed to stem the bleeding, then we called his son and an ambulance, it was terrible, terrible ‘The man that did this was trying to steal his car, it was a car jacking – Eric was in the wrong place at the wrong time ‘ Mr Neziri fears that the extreme violence he witnessed on Sunday could be a sign of things to come for the area He said: ‘It was very unexpected.I’ve been here for the past 10 years and I never experienced anything like that before ‘The first time, but the next time it could be us, it could be me, and it could be anyone – we have to keep our eyes open now ‘ Gino Gashi, 40, a barista at the cafe, confirmed that the victim ‘is doing all right’ in hospital following the attack He said: ‘I was talking with him just minutes before – he was talking about the Chelsea and Arsenal game ‘We’ve heard from the son, he called a few hours after the attack and confirmed that Eric is doing alright ‘He was not doing anything wrong, he is educated, a kind man – and works in the city – this was a random attack ‘ A local father, 42, said that he heard screaming just before 8am – before ‘five police cars arrived’ and cordoned off the scene Another neighbour, in her sixties, said she saw a figure dressed in black running away from the scene at 7 55am.She said: ‘We’ve been forgotten, there are never any police on patrol – we’ve even considered getting a private police force here ‘ Police removed the car and a knife found at the scene for forensic examination.No arrests have been made The stabbing in a usually quiet, leafy West London suburb has shocked Mr Salama’s neighbours One said: ‘It is usually so quiet around here and just sickening to know it is one of our neighbours There have been car crimes before, but nothing like this.’ Shocked neighbours described Mr Salama as a ‘private and hard working man’ – who often leaves the country on business One, who asked not to be named, said he is ‘so notable in his industry’ adding: ‘I haven’t seen Eric in some time, but he is a hardworking man and he’s always travelling somewhere ‘When I do see him, he’s coming back from a business trip – he might say “hello” – but that’s about it really He comes and he goes, he will stop and say “hi”.I usually see his black Ford parked outside ‘ The attack took place less than half a mile from Mr Salama’s £1.8m home and close to the entrance of world famous Kew Gardens The area is usually busy with tourists visiting the famed gardens after exiting Kew Gardens underground station Officers from the South West Command Unit are investigating and believe the suspect to be a black male who was wearing a dark hoodie and a snood at the time of the incident They are keen to speak to anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the incident Superintendent Rob Applegarth, from the Met’s South West Command Unit, said: ‘We recognise the community concern caused by this attack and will be conducting additional patrols in the area as a result ‘Although this happened fairly early in the morning, we know people would have been up and about and in the area at the time ‘We are keen to establish the exact circumstances of this incident and would ask anyone with information to contact police immediately ‘ Mr Salama is a Consultant of the Government on the questions of education, industry, creation and e-business He has been CEO of The Kantar Group since April 2007.Mr Salama also serves as a Trustee of the British Museum and The Horse’s Mouth Foundation

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