We have just spent two idyllic weeks on a Greek island obivious to the fact that our eldest son, Nick, was the victim of knife crime. Thankfully he had suffered no more than a broken foot which is why neither son had informed us whilst we were away.
Knife crime in Britain has become an epidemic of late with the youth of today.
Nick was walking home at 2 a.m. last Friday morning from a stag night for his friend, for whom he was best man last Saturday. It was no more than a 25 minute walk to his home, a walk he has done countless times. He is a respectable 37 year old father of three who had enjoyed a few beers with his friends but had left them to walk home alone because he was working the following day.
There were two young men on the opposite side of the road walking towards him and as the gap got smaller they crossed the road towards him, pulling up their hoods at the same time. Nick is a big strong man, he is fit for 37 because he cycles and runs, he has done Judo and Kick boxing and can take care of himself if he has to, his instincts told him there could be trouble. As they approached him they asked for cigarettes, Nick said he didn't have any, not content with the answer the elder one, being only about eight inches away from him put his hand into his belt and started to pull a knife from it. Nick had the presence of mind to grab his wrists and turn the man's hands inwards preventing him from using the knfe. Nick said "You don't want to do this mate" to which the man replied "Why not?".
They tousled and Nick threw the man against a wall causing him to fall down and he dropped the knife, Nick ran. He could hear someone chasing him, he didn't know whether it was both of them or whether they had the knife, so he just kept running. The one who had drawn the knife was chasing him and managed to stamp on Nick's right foot stopping his flight. Nick went down and the man tumbled over the top of him. Nick jumped up and carried on running putting as much distance as he could between them before glancing back to see both men searching the floor, looking for the knife obviously.
Nick dialled 999 on his mobile, breathless and in pain from his foot he told the operator he had been attacked. They kept him on the line asking if he could see his attackers, they wanted a description and details of where they were heading. A few minutes later a passing patrol car had them in custody. They sent another car to Nick and an ambulance, which took him to hospital where they Xrayed his foot and found three broken bones, so they encased his leg in plaster. The police said he was very lucky but his escape with only a broken foot was down to him having had his wits about him.
The police told Nick when they challenged the men the elder one (one was 15 the other 23) produced the knife saying "I've got a knife!" When asked why he was carrying a knife he replied "for protection, I've just been jumped down the road". When they were questioned at the station the elder of the two would only say "No comment" but the younger one admitted to being there but did not take part in the attack, thereby dropping his friend right in it!
Presumably the two will be up in court, sometime, and get a slap on the wrist and told not to do it again. In the meantime Nick is on crutches for two weeks, then a walking plaster for four weeks, he cannot drive, he cannot work, he doesn't feel he did the right thing by running, but of course everyone has told him he did exactly the right thing. Had he stayed and fought he could have been stabbed, he could be dead, or he could have picked the knife up and killed in self defence and be facing a prison sentence himself.
What is this country coming to? I despair I really do. I thank God that my son is a fit man who can take care of himself but even that is not enough these days. Had it been anyone not as quick witted and fit the outcome could have been so different. MWM commented that had he been in that situation, at almost 60 years old with high blood pressure, the outcome would most definitely have been very different.
I feel sick.