Man thought he was going to die in stab attack

Mistley Close Stabbing. Bexhill on Sea SUS-150331-114828001
Mistley Close Stabbing. Bexhill on Sea SUS-150331-114828001

A former soldier, who was repeatedly stabbed during a two-and-a-half hour ordeal, says his love of martial arts saved his life.

Mark Patterson was jailed for six-and-a-half years earlier this year for the unprovoked attack on Craig Barker in his own home.

I thought that was it. Game over.

Craig Barker

This week Craig spoke out for the first time about his harrowing ordeal at the hands of his assailant.

Craig had invited Patterson back to his home in Mistley Close, Pebsham, on September 25.

But the evening soon took a sinister turn.

Craig said: “He came over, we played Play Station and watched a film and the next thing I know he was on top of me with a knife.

“He got his blade into the top of my arm.”

The 31-year-old added: “He got off me and pretended to phone an ambulance and then jumped on me again.”

This pattern repeated itself 13 times over the next two-and-a-half hours.

Craig was stabbed in the throat, chest, armpit and arms with a Stanley knife.

He was also knifed in the neck, with the blade narrowly missing a major artery.

At one stage during the incident, Patterson put Craig into the recovery position before plunging the knife into his kidney.

Craig tried to set his dogs on to his attacker, but Patterson prevented him from getting to the door.

He said: “I could not get to the door where the dogs were, otherwise I would have opened the door.”

Just after 3am, Craig was finally able to overpower his attacker and make his escape.

Craig said: “When he got me in the throat, I clamped my hands around his hands and pushed back as hard as I could.

“I leapt over the sofa, headed for the door and collapsed in the back garden.”

He added: “I thought that was it. Game over.”

Craig was taken by ambulance to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings for treatment.

He said: “I was in and out the same day, but I had stitches and that.

“All in all I think it was about 40 stitches, glue and steri-strips.”

The attack left Craig with permanent nerve damage and also affected his mental health.

He said: “My sister says it has changed me a lot. I’m angry all the time. I keep jumping at shadows.”

Craig says he believes that his love for Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu helped him to survive his ordeal.

He told the Observer: “Martial arts saved my life.

“That and being an ex-soldier.”

Mark Patterson, 32, of Eastview Terrace, Sedlescombe, was found guilty of committing grievous bodily harm following a two-day trial at Lewes Crown Court on February 12.

Speaking after the verdict, Detective Constable Julian Stokes of Sussex Police said: “The injuries Patterson inflicted on the victim, who thought him a friend, resulted in permanent nerve damage, but he was lucky to escape without worse injuries.”