Pregnant mother shot six times in her own living room in case of mistaken identity says her 15-stone, size-16 body SAVED her life by cushioning hail of bullets to do please

  • Leona Brown, 39, was shot at her home in Walthamstow, north-east London 
  • She initially thought someone was knocking at her door but bullets were fired 
  • Ms Brown believes that her weight cushioned the blows from the six bullets  

A pregnant mother who was shot six times in her own living room claims her 15-stone body saved her life by cushioning the hail of bullets. 

Leona Brown, 39, was cradling her baby bump on a chair in her front room when she heard explosive banging at the front door in Walthamstow, north-east London. 

She initially thought someone was hammering at the door but it was actually gunfire spraying through its woodwork.   

The mother of five said: ‘When I heard the first bang the gun was going rapid like, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. 

‘The person emptied the whole gun – I’m very lucky to be alive.’ 

She added: ‘I stood up and saw a hole in my chest… 

Leona Brown (pictured with her healthy newborn Leo), 39, was cradling her baby bump on a chair in her front room when she heard explosive banging at the front door in Walthamstow, north-east London

‘I was glad and relieved it happened to me in a way and not anyone else.

‘Probably because I have got so much weight on it cushioned in me, whereas everyone else is slimmer.

‘If that happened to my partner or my children or the boy it would have gone to the organs but will be because I’m size 16 my body cushioned it.’

She was taken to the Royal London Hospital where she had a hole in her chest and four wounds in her arm. A fragment hit her leg and is still inside her body. In total six bullet fragments hit her. 

Ms Brown came under attack on March 3 last year but no one has been sent to prison for the shooting yet.

She initially thought someone was hammering at the door but it was actually gunfire spraying through its woodwork

It is believed the bullets were intended for a teen boy, a neighbour’s son, who had taken refuge in Leona’s house about half an hour earlier after a man she didn’t recognise tried to bundle the lad into his van.

Her then partner had allowed the shocked teen inside to protect him from the adult stranger.

But after he called his parents to pick him up, a hail of bullets were fired at Ms Brown’s home in an apparent retaliatory attack.  

Ms Brown survived and delivered a healthy 7.7lbs baby called Leo on June 21 last year via emergency cesarean.

She added: ‘He has come out so perfect, I thought maybe he would have a mark on him or something but on his body he doesn’t have a mark at all.’


The mother of five said: ‘When I heard the first bang the gun was going rapid like, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. ‘The person emptied the whole gun – I’m very lucky to be alive.’ She added: ‘I stood up and saw a hole in my chest.’ Pictured: Ms Brown’s X-rays 

The attack has driven Leona into hiding far away from her support network and has had a devastating toll on her older children, now 23, 21, 19 and eight.

It caused so much stress she broke up with her long-term boyfriend. 

In relation to the shooting, the Met Police arrested and charged a man in June.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: ‘Detectives from the Met’s Violent Crime Task Force have charged a man with drugs and firearms offences.

‘Mudassar Ishtiaq, 32, of Cormorant Close, Waltham Forest, was arrested on June 9 after a search warrant was executed at his address.

‘In the course of the search, a quantity of ammunition and controlled drugs were recovered.


The attack has driven Leona into hiding far away from her support network and has had a devastating toll on her older children, now 23, 21, 19 and eight. Pictured: Bullet holes in her door

‘Ishtiaq was charged on June 10 with possession of ammunition without a certificate and possession of Class A and B drugs with intent to supply.’

The Crown Prosecution Service says Ishtiaq later pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of a drug with intent to supply, and one count of possession of ammunition for a firearm without a certificate.

He was sentenced to four years in prison at Snaresbrook Crown Court on February 5.

Pictured: Bullet holes on Ms Brown’s front door in Walthamstow, north-east London

He was also slapped with forfeiture and destruction of drugs and confiscation of the cash and a £190 victim surcharge.

But a CPS spokesperson said the firearm charge was not proceeded with.

A Met Police spokesperson confirmed no one else has been arrested in relation to this case.

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