Couple stop man bleeding to death

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 12:43 21/02/2014
Somerset Crescent
Stacy Squires/Fairfax NZ

STABBING SCENE: Police at the scene of a knife attack in Spreydon, where a 22-year-old man suffered serious injuries.

blood driveway somerset cres
Kirk Hargreaves
BLOOD-STAINED DRIVEWAY: Blood stains a driveway at a Somerset Crescent address, where a man was stabbed after being chased by a group of men.

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A young man slashed in the neck in a suburban Christchurch driveway asked if he was going to die as he lay in a pool of his own blood.

The shocked couple, who went to the 22-year-old Daniel Leahy's aid, said his four attackers laughed and "yahooed" as they fled the scene, telling them the victim "got what he deserved".

Mark Meaclem, 48, and his partner Caroline Howe, 53, are convinced had they not rushed out and held towels to Leahy's throat and neck, he would be dead.

The Spreydon couple were about to go to bed when they heard noise in their shared driveway in Somerset Cres about 10.40pm on Wednesday.

Meaclem said he looked over the fence and saw four men had cornered Leahy at the back of the driveway, apparently fighting.

It looked like Leahy had tried to jump the fence but "run out of steam", he said.

Police said the victim had run to Somerset Cres from another address in Selwyn St while being pursued by the group.

Meaclem said when he got outside he found Leahy curled up in a foetal position on the drive.

His clothes had been turned inside out, his jeans and underwear pulled down, and blood was "pouring out" from his neck.

He said the gash was at least 6 centimetres long and about an inch thick.

The attackers did not seem bothered by Meaclem's presence, he said. One told him, "He's been smashing windows - he got what he deserved" as they took off.

Meaclem yelled to his partner, who is a nurse, to ring police and bring towels. He grabbed a blanket from the house then got Leahy onto his back.

Leahy went white and asked him, "Am I going to die?"

Meaclem said: "I was sitting in a big pool of blood. I was just waiting for that last breath, for him to go quiet and bleed out.

"I said, 'I'm not going to let you die'."

Paramedics and police arrived within a few minutes, but not before two towels and their clothes were completely soaked in blood.

Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney said investigators were still piecing together what had sparked the incident, but were confident it was not a "random" attack. They were speaking to some "persons of interest".

There appeared to have been "a number of interactions across the city" leading up to the stabbing.

Sweeney said the victim was "very lucky" to be alive. He underwent surgery in Christchurch Hospital yesterday and would be formally interviewed today.

Sweeney commended the couple's actions.

Police sought any information from anyone who was in the area of Selwyn and Somerset Streets in Barrington about 10.40pm on Wednesday.

People could call Christchurch police on (03) 363 7400 or anonymously via 0800 555 111.

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- The Press

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