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15 February 2019, 17:21 | Updated: 19 February 2019, 08:20
A Leicestershire man has been jailed for stabbing a dog walker in an unprovoked attack.
Todd-Sadlik Stephenson - who has been sentenced to ten and a half years in prison - carried out the violent assault on his victim in Melton Road, East Goscote on the evening of Sunday 14 October.
He pleaded guilty to GBH with intent and battery at Leicester Crown Court .
Sadlik-Stephenson - of Tinkers Dell - was walking his own dog on Melton Road when he stabbed his victim in the neck.
He then turned his attention to the victim’s wife but ran from the scene when members of the public intervened.
A passer-by stopped to help and provided life-saving first aid.
Detective Inspector Tim Lindley, the senior investigating officer, said: “There’s little doubt in my mind that if it wasn’t for the intervention of a member of the public who provided first aid at the scene, this would have been a murder investigation.
“The help that she provided saved the victim’s life.
“This was a horrific attack which has had a substantial and lasting impact on the victim, who is still recovering from his injuries.
“It has also had a significant impact on the local community within East Goscote. I would like to extend my thanks to those people who spoke to us as part of this investigation. We had more than 60 people who were either witnesses or who called to provide information.
“Both the victim in this case and the wider community in East Goscote should be reassured that Sadlik-Stephenson has been convicted of this callous assault and is now facing a lengthy custodial sentence.”
Detective Constable DC Beverley Toon, the officer in the case, added: “The victim and his wife have been through a particularly traumatic incident and recognised how close he came to losing his life.
“The events of that evening have had a significant impact upon their lives and I expect they will struggle to come to terms with the attack for some time. Despite the understandable difficulties they faced in the days following the attack, they were fully committed to assisting the police from the outset which allowed us to secure charges at an early stage in the investigation.
“For that I commend them and hope that the conviction of their attacker provides them with some much needed closure.”
The victim in the case has released the following statement:
"On 14 October last year, my wife and I had been our walking our dog together, something we do every evening.
Without any warning, a total stranger ran up behind us and launched himself at me. At first I thought I’d been punched in the neck, but the truth was in fact horrifying. I’d been stabbed in the neck and fell to the floor.
He had severed jugular and carotid arteries in my neck. It was a scene that should only be witnessed in a horror film. My wife started shouting for help, which focussed the attention on her. He grappled with her and tried to take her to the floor. However, she was able to break free and run across the road before passers-by intervened.
I’ve been told by surgeons that the injury I suffered should’ve resulted in my death.
To this day, nearly four months later, we still can’t believe what happened that night. I don’t think we’ll ever understand it fully or comprehend why someone would do this to a complete stranger. It was a completely unprovoked attack on a couple enjoying an early evening stroll with their dog.
This has had a major and lasting impact on both me and family. I’m still on the long road to recovery, while my wife had to witness the most unimaginable horror – stemming the bleeding of a loved one should never have to happen. This incident has changed the way we live our lives. My wife and I, as well as our two sons, are cautious everywhere we go.
The defendant has accepted his guilt and the court has passed sentence. While this does not change what happened to us, this at least allows us to focus on our family. He can move past the whole ordeal and this brings some sense of security back into our lives.
The fast thinking and actions, in what was a truly horrendous scene, of my wife and the passers-by, particularly one lady in particular, helped to keep me alive.
The amazing job that first the paramedics, and then the countless surgeons operating on me had performed, literally bought me back from the dead. Since then, the ongoing support from nurses, doctors, amazing friends and amazing family have kept us going. The support from our local community and the police has been incredible and truly humbling.
Finally, I would like to say that this single, cowardly act, has not only affected my life, the lives of my friends and families, but also those of the defendant. We hold no ill feeling towards his family. I am just sorry that the needless actions of one individual have had repercussions and consequences on so many lives, and in our case, leaving permanent physical and mental scars."