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Dog walker stabbed in neck thought he would die


A man who was stabbed in the neck while walking his dog in the countryside has told how he thought he was going to die.

The 63-year-old was attacked as he and his pet enjoyed their regular walk through parkland on the outskirts of Oadby on Saturday morning.

Recovering at home yesterday, the man described how his attacker initially accused him of not shutting a gate, and then plunged a three-and-a-half-inch knife into his neck.

The victim, who does not want to be identified, spoke out in the hope it will help police to find the attacker.

He also wanted to thank two people who came to his aid and, he believes, saved his life.

He said: "I've been going to the same place for 30 years and I know a lot of people down there. I'd never seen the man who did this to me before, though.

"He had a dog with him, too, and I heard him shout something like 'shut that gate'.

"He came up to me and started effing and blinding at me.

"I saw his fist come up, but because he was so close to me there was nothing I could do to defend myself.

"At first, I thought he had punched me, but then I realised I was bleeding heavily.

"It sounds daft, but I remember I said to him 'you've stabbed me'.

"I could see him standing there with his arm by his side and there was a knife in his hand."

The injured man staggered back to the car park at the entrance to the country park, near Bluebell Close.

"I got the dog's blanket and held it to my throat and with the other hand I managed to get through to the emergency services, but they couldn't understand what I was saying and I was having to spell out where I was, repeating every letter," he said.

"Fortunately, another dog-walker – someone I know enough to say 'good morning' to – saw me."

The fellow dog-walker went to get help.

"The first house he went to he found the person who lived there just happened to be a nurse."

The nurse came to the man's aid, laying him down in his estate car and treating and reassuring him until paramedics arrived.

The man said: "I thought I was all on my own in that car park and I was thinking 'I'm going to die here'. If it wasn't for that dog-walker and then the nurse, I probably would have died there.

"My other piece of luck was that the knife just missed my carotid artery. If he had cut that, I would have been dead in less than 15 seconds."

He was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary and later transferred to Derby Royal Infirmary, where specialists treated the damaged nerves.

The results of the operation will not be known for at least six weeks, the man said.

"People ask me how I feel about what has happened to me, but I can't really tell them because I still can't get my head around it," he said.

Well-wishers have sent get well cards. One is signed by a number of people who walk their dogs at the same spot.

"We don't always know each other's names, so they put their dogs' names and that way I know who it's from," he said.

"I know a lot of them are worried now and are going in pairs.

"We won't be able to feel safe until this man is caught."

His wife, 62, said: "We just want the person who did this to be caught. He is obviously a dangerous man."

The couple's 30-year-old daughter said: "We feel a lot of gratitude for the people who helped my dad, but we are still very concerned the person who did this is still out there.

"Because it was unprovoked, who's to say this man won't do this to someone else?

"If anyone knows anything about the person who did this, even if they think it's unimportant, we want them to go to the police."

Police arrested a 30-year-old man in connection with the attack on Monday. He has been released on bail and the investigation is continuing.

The attacker is white, 6ft 1in, aged 30 to 35, slim and has short, dark hair. He was wearing a dark baseball cap, mid-grey T-shirt and blue jeans.

The dog the attacker had with him was a "good-sized" springer spaniel, possibly crossed with a border collie or similar.

Contact Detective Constable Gary Dickinson on 101.

Dog walker stabbed in neck thought he would die

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