I'm so lucky, says dad in Devizes pub knifing attack

This Is Wiltshire: Knife attack victim Tony Walker. Picture by Siobhan Boyle Knife attack victim Tony Walker. Picture by Siobhan Boyle

Knife attack victim Tony Walker has spoken of the night when he was stabbed after stepping in to help a woman who was pushed to the ground outside a Devizes pub.

Mr Walker, 50, said he was pleased Lee Turner, 26, was last week found guilty of unlawful wounding and possessing a bladed article following a four day trial at Swindon Crown Court.

He said that at first he did not realise he had been stabbed and it was only when he went back inside The Crown in New Park Street that he saw that his shirt was covered in blood.

“Some of the people in the pub took a look at my side and realised it was a puncture wound. They dialed 999 and I was taken to the trauma unit at Frenchay Hospital. They stitched me up but I had to stay in overnight," he said.

“I was lucky really as if it had been a few inches either way it could have pierced my lung or another organ.

“I rang my 17-year-old youngest daughter to tell her I was in hospital and she was very worried.”

Father-of-three Mr Walker, a builder, spent a week off work recovering from the wound.

The former Devizes doorman said it was very unusual for a knife to be used in fights in the town.

He said: “You get a few punch-ups when people have had too much to drink but I haven’t seen a knife being used.”

The attack happened in the early hours of a Sunday morning last October just weeks before The Crown closed for a £200,000 refit.

Manager Jim Lynch said: “This court case comes at an unfortunate time. Since our revamp we have become known as a place to go for good food and to be enjoyed by whole families.

"Our reputation has completely changed and there has been absolutely no trouble inside the pub or in the close vicinity that I know of.”

The pub no longer has regular late night discos on a Friday and Saturday evenings but instead has occasional live music on a Friday and is available to be booked for birthday parties and other special occasions.

The trial judge has warned Turner that he faces a prison term when he is sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday, September 12. He was cleared by the jury of the more serious charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

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