A south London mum who was stabbed in the face and neck as she pushed her baby in a pram has recalled the attack, saying she feared she would be raped.

Josephine Conlon, 36, had been returning home after meeting other new mothers at a bakery in Streatham, when she was set upon by Mark Brazant on December 30 last year.

Brazant, 44, who had been released from jail on Christmas Eve, went on to stab her seven times in the face and neck before running off.

Giving evidence at the Old Bailey, Mrs Conlon said she first became aware of Brazant when she was "shoved" in the back.

She said: "It felt quite strong and I knew straight away it was not just someone trying to get me out of the way. I knew I was in danger."

When she was shoved again, she dropped her mobile phone and fell on to a driveway.

The buggy containing her infant daughter rolled on to the kerb and became wedged next to a parked car.

Mrs Conlon said: "I remember him being above me. From that original shove your mind goes into overdrive, trying to work out what's happening.

"I remember thinking he had pushed me into the driveway because he was going to rape me.

"Then he didn't, he just started hitting me.

"I realised I was being stabbed. I was screaming a lot because I was not in the road so I wanted somebody to hear me.

"I was ducking and trying to get away and trying to get up on to my feet.

"I could feel blood. The adrenaline took away pain but I could feel things dripping."

Mrs Conlon said she remembered thinking about kneeing her assailant in the groin as she pushed him.

She added: "I managed to get up on my feet and that's when he turned and ran away."

She screamed for help and neighbours came to her aid before she was taken to hospital.

She told jurors that she needed help to ring her husband Greg because her hands were "covered in blood".

Mrs Conlon was discharged from hospital the next day but continues to have treatment for scars to her face and neck, the court heard.

She had been on the phone to her mother Roseanne Eskell at the time of the attack.

Mrs Eskell said in a statement she was alerted by a "blood-curdling scream" which went on for a few seconds before silence.

She said: "It was so terrifying as it came from absolutely nowhere."

Prosecutor Louise Oakley told jurors that Brazant was a "complete stranger" who had followed his victim a short distance before attacking her with a kitchen knife.

Previously, the defendant, who has paranoid schizophrenia, had served a prison sentence for three offences of battery and one of common assault, jurors were told.

He was released from Thameside jail on Christmas Eve, but had been reported missing after he failed to turn up at a supported house for people with mental health problems.

Jurors were shown CCTV of Brazant, dressed all in black, travelling on a bus before crossing paths with Mrs Conlon in Streatham.

Although the attack was out of shot, jurors heard Mrs Conlon's screams and a baby crying, which was captured on audio at the scene.

The mother was heard to shout out: "What do you what? Help. Help me, help me."

In the early hours of January 2, Brazant walked into Wandsworth police station carrying a knife, and said he had "stabbed a person on the street two days earlier".

Jurors heard that the defendant accepted that he stabbed Mrs Conlon but denied he intended to kill her or cause really serious harm.

Ms Oakley said it is the Crown's case that having paranoid schizophrenia does not provide him with a defence to the "horrific crime".

Brazant, of Windmill Road, Ealing, west London, denies attempted murder.