'I heard my children scream as carjackers took them'

A mother told yesterday of her desperate bid to save her two terrified children after they were seized in a violent carjacking.

Dianne King, 39, ran screaming after the people-carrier which had her son David, 13, and four-year-old daughter Evianne, strapped inside.

'All I kept thinking of were my children screaming and crying in the car,' she said. 'I just left the car for seconds and before I knew it the thieves had dived in. I lost my shoes and was running in my tights. I have never run so fast.'

She grabbed hold of the driver's door when the Nissan Prairie slowed to let another car by, but one of the two carjackers opened the door and shut it with such force that she was slammed against the oncoming vehicle.

No one tried to help as she lay crying in the road while the thugs sped off with her children.

When David begged the thieves to let them out, one told him: 'Just go'. The boy leaned over and unstrapped his sister and the two children ran for their lives. But David has not spoken since the horrifying incident in Brixton Hill, South London, on Friday.

Mrs King, a social worker from Camberwell, South London, had been about to drive away from a friend's house when she stopped to put some rubbish in a bin, leaving the keys in the ignition.

The carjackers struck in seconds. 'Suddenly my boy shouted "Mum, they're taking the car",' she said. 'A man was in the driver's seat while another climbed into the back with my son.'

David managed to scramble out and frantically tried to free his little sister, who was in the front. When he could not undo her seatbelthe bravely got back into the car, which drove off at 30 mph, with Mrs King running behind.

'I was shouting "My kids ! I want my kids!",' she said.

'I caught up and grabbed the handle of the driver's door. They only slowed down because of an oncoming Cherokee.

'I opened the door, pushed my knee in and tried to grab the man. My little girl was sobbing "Mummy, Mummy".' Mrs King was slammed against the side of the Cherokee. 'I was crushed and bruised but I didn't feel the pain, all I heard were the children cryingand the car screeching off,' she said. 'I lay in the road crying.

'But then I saw the children running towards me shouting 'Mummy, we got away, we got away'. I hugged them so hard.'

'David has not spoken a word since. I am numb with anger when I think of how this could have ended. This happened in broad daylight and no one would help me.'

Last month, estate agent Tim Robinson was stabbed to death outside his home in Battersea by thugs who stole his £20,000 Audi.