Man convicted of brutal stabbing which left victim in a persistent vegetative state


A man who left a City business analyst in a persistent vegetative state after brutally attacking her as she walked home at night through a park has been convicted of stabbing and robbing her.

Barry Peacham, 26, attacked Qingqing Rao, 30, shortly before 9.45pm on 13 February 2017, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury from which she may never recover.

Peacham was found guilty of wounding with intent and robbery today (Tues 24 Oct) by a jury at the Central Criminal Court.

Ms Rao was stabbed in the head as she crossed Castle Green Park in Dagenham after getting off at a bus stop nearby. She was found shortly afterwards by a passer-by.

Witnesses described how Peacham arrived home out of breath minutes after the attack, with a rip to his jeans and mud on his clothing, and then went out again, after changing some of his clothes, to walk the dog.

London Crown Prosecution Service reviewing lawyer Tarika Jayaratne said: "Barry Peacham brutally attacked Qingqing Rao with a knife, robbed her and left her for dead. He later claimed that someone else committed this crime.

"The prosecution case included CCTV footage of Peacham walking from the park moments after Ms Rao was attacked, with a laptop tablet under his arm, and putting items down a drain – where Ms Rao’s bank cards, iPhone, and drivers’ licence were later found.

"This evidence was key to convicting Peacham of these offences.

"While this conviction will put a very dangerous man behind bars, Ms Rao may never recover from her injuries and our thoughts are with her and her family at this time."

Peacham will be sentenced on Monday 27 November.

Notes to editors:

Barry Peacham [DOB 20/11/1990] lived in Maplestead Road, Dagenham.

Tarika Jayaratne is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the London Homicide team.