October 1 2014 Latest news:
Monday, July 21, 2014
A knife-wielding attacker whose victim was left fighting for his life outside Queen’s Hospital has been jailed for three years.
Paul Chambers, 27, of Poole Road, Hackney, was convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court of causing grievous bodily harm to Walthamstow man Westley Murray on Thursday.
His victim spent more than a week in a medically induced coma while recovering from his injuries. He had been dropped off by a taxi at the Romford hospital.
Following the attack in Dagenham, Mr Murray stumbled into the office of nearby Essex Minicabs.
“I’m not sure how I got there,” he said, “but I asked for the next available cab and was told it would be 20 minutes.”
Drifting in and out of consciousness, he was awoken by an employee who asked if he was OK.
“I said: ‘I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, but I think I’m dying.’”
Zaman Raza drove him to Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, where he told the driver: “I can’t move.”
The next thing he remembers is waking up 10 days later.
“It’s a terrifying experience that no one wants to go through,” he said.
Chambers was originally tried for attempted murder in November 2013 but the jury was unable to reach a verdict.
“It was heartbreaking,” said electrician Mr Murray, who now hopes to retrain to work in IT.
“If you can’t get justice, it’s like you don’t mean anything, you’re not worth anything.”
A London-wide bid to trace the driver ended with officers’ discovery the stabbing had happened in Gale Street, Dagenham, and followed an argument between the two men, who didn’t know each other but shared a mutual friend.
“It was just macho attitude that escalated into an argument, which turned into a fight and unfortunately he had a knife.
“If he’d brandished it beforehand I’d have done a runner, but he didn’t. He was obviously punching me with the knife in his hand but I didn’t know he had it.”
He added the staff who had taken care of him at Queen’s Hospital and the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, where he was taken after being dropped off by Mr Raza, had saved his life.
“I want to show my appreciation for the staff at the Royal London,” he said.