Mother claimed to have knife, says woman accused of threatening to stab baby


A woman accused of threatening to stab a baby on a packed Tube train after the tot kicked her from her pram says it was the child’s mother who claimed to have a weapon.

Millicent Barnes, 22, is accused of screaming abuse at Geraldine Brannigan and demanding her baby daughter “apologise” to her – despite the fact the child was only just learning to speak.

Barnes, from the Lindley Estate in Peckham, allegedly became aggressive towards Ms Brannigan and her family when they boarded the Central Line on July 18 this year at about 5.30pm when the train was packed with rush hour commuters.

She is accused of demanding “it” apologise to her, and telling Ms Brannigan and her family that she had a knife in her bag.

She allegedly told them “I don’t give a f*** about the baby” and threatened to stab the 15-month-old.

Another passenger, Chantala Wilson, claims Barnes was abusive and threatening towards her when she tried to intervene in the situation.

But in her evidence, Barnes said the argument started when Ms Brannigan’s father – who was pushing the pram – rammed her twice in the leg with it and refused to apologise.

“[On the platform] the man behind me with a pram ran it into the back of my foot – I looked back at him and he looked back at me and continued with his conversation.

“He ignored it and I thought ‘just leave it’ and get on the train, he then rammed the pram into my leg.

“I told him ‘you’ve hit me twice now, can you apologise please?’”

She added: “I said ‘the least you can do is apologise’.”

He said the man repeatedly refused to apologise to her, and that Ms Brannigan’s brother threatened “I’ll do you in” if she didn’t stop talking to him.

She said that it was Ms Brannigan who claimed to have a knife and began searching in her bag.

“[Ms Brannigan] said ‘I’ve got a knife in my bag’ and I said ‘make sure you use it then’.

“Where I’m from, if you say you’ve got a knife on you, you don’t make an empty threat – you don’t say you’ve got a knife for no reason.”

Barnes said she felt ganged up on by the Brannigan family, saying that she felt if she had been white they would have apologised to her.

She said that her brother had died from a stab would and that she would never threaten to knife anyone.

She added that she was angry about being told to be quiet so as not to upset the child, when at least four adults were shouting at her, and denied ever threatening the baby.

City of London Magistrates Court heard that Ms Brannigan and seven other relatives had been out to celebrate her brother’s graduation on the day of the incident, and the tube was packed with rush hour commuters.

The complainant said a member of staff helped her and her family get off at St Paul’s but that Barnes was trying to spit at them as they left the train.

Barnes was tracked down after British Transport Police released images of her alleged tirade against the Brannigan family.

She denies one count of using threatening words or behaviour with intent to cause alarm or distress towards Ms Brannigan.

She is not charged with any offence towards Ms Wilson.

The trial, which is scheduled to last for one day, continues.


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