A Kiwi tourist thought he was going to die during a frenzied razor blade attack in a Malaysian hotel room, which ended only when he bit off his assailant's finger.
"It was easier to relax than to fight. I was definitely on the way out," Grant Stanley, 47, an Opotiki beekeeper, said last night.
Stanley was slashed across his face and almost suffocated during a 15-minute onslaught that left him drenched in blood and with deep cuts to his neck, face, lip, eyelid and back.
He had stopped in Kuala Lumpur on the way back from a holiday in Cuba, and planned to meet up with a woman he had befriended last year.
The woman was a prostitute, but he said they had a platonic relationship, and he was trying to help extract her from her "terrible" situation. "It was nothing to do with sex."
He paid for a hotel last week, and was introduced to the woman's 7-year-old son and a taxi driver, who appeared to be her lover.
"They stayed on the double bed and I was on the single."
They hung out for a few days, and everything seemed fine, he said. "I enjoyed their company and they enjoyed mine."
But eventually he grew wary of the pair, who seemed to be keen on his bags. "They kept asking if I wanted to go out to the countryside. I got suspicious, so I said I had some business to do in town."
On Friday night, the trio went out to some nearby bars. The taxi driver and the woman returned to the hotel. Stanley followed 15 minutes later and the woman began arguing with him.
He decided to leave, so he packed his bags. "That's when the taxi driver jumped up and held a knife to my neck. It was a brand new craft knife."
He tried to snap the blade off with his thumb. "I managed to do it, but it left a 1cm piece at the end."
The taxi driver then tried to slit his throat, and Stanley was repeatedly slashed as the pair fought for a desperate 15 minutes.
"They wrapped my head in a blanket, I didn't have any energy left because I'd lost so much blood."
With his energy fading away, Stanley felt his attacker's finger in his mouth and bit down hard.
"I bit it off at the first joint. I felt it come apart in my mouth."
Stanley fled for the door, but his hands were so slippery with blood and sweat he couldn't open it, and his back was slashed before he finally got outside.
An Englishman came to his aid, before he collapsed and woke up the next morning in hospital. He spent two nights there, where doctors told him he had "too many stitches to count".
Kuala Lumpur police chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Zainuddin Ahmad said yesterday that the taxi driver had been charged with "grievous assault".
The woman had not been charged, and would be a witness in the case.
- The Dominion Post
What do you make of the proposed conference centre/hotel for Wellington?Related story: Convention centre to get OK