Man stabbed in neck told he was ‘dying’ in front of doctors

A man stabbed in the neck yards away from a music festival full of children told how the ordeal changed his life forever.

Stuart Newton, 41, from Maghull, was found by emergency services, lying on the ground opposite the Royal Clifton Hotel on Southport Promenade "pouring with blood" in July last year.

Stuart who was knifed in the neck, stomach and spleen during the attack at SonFest music festival, said he initially refused treatment – despite being told by doctors that he was "dying in front of their eyes".

And he claimed it wasn't until he "heard the horror" in his mum's voice that he agreed to have five hours of emergency surgery, during which he had his spleen removed.

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This means Stuart is more susceptible to catching infections and has spent the last seven weeks at home shielding from coronavirus.

But despite everything he has been through, Stuart is determined to share his story to help others during lockdown and prevent knife crime across the country.

Recalling what happened that day, Stuart told the ECHO: "I remember people screaming saying 'your neck, your neck!' I moved my hand up to my neck and it was like I was wearing a red glove.

"But I didn't realise I was stabbed that many times, I think it must have been the shock and the adrenaline just kicks in."

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Stabbing victim Stuart Newton, from Maghull, told how he was left with life changing injuries

"They ripped me open and took out my spleen, that was the only way to save my life.

"So I have no immune system now and I'll have to have injections for the rest of my life to stop me from catching things like the flu and meningitis."

During a three day trial at Liverpool Crown Court in December, Colin Howard, 43, admitted wounding with intent, but denied attempted murder.

He was cleared of attempted murder, but was also convicted of possessing a bladed article in a public place.

Howard, from Royal Terrace in Southport, was locked up for a total of 11 years, with an extended four years on license.

Stuart said: "I should have died that day.

"It's an absolute miracle that I didn't and I believe it's happened for a reason.

"I'm in a position where I can help families who have been beavered by knife crime and I can work with young people to educate them on knife crime and stop the same thing happening to anyone else."

Stuart Newton, from Maghull, is now rebuilding his life and tackling knife crime

To do this, Stuart and his business partner Will Burns have secured £20,000 funding from the European Social Fund to help deliver accredited courses over Zoom during lockdown.

The qualifications which will be delivered to 45 people from Halton aged 19 and over starting on June 15, include Employability Skills, Mental Heath Level 2 and First Aid training with catastrophic bleeding.

When delivering the qualifications Stuart will use his story to raise awareness of the devastating impact knife crime can have on its victims.

Stabbing victim Stuart Newton, from Maghull, told how he was left with life changing injuries

He said: "Young people are even more vulnerable at the moment. They can't go out and see their friends and they can't go to school.

"I've not been able to go out for the last seven weeks because I'm high risk and it's affected my mental health. It made me think about young people and how we can help them.

"We were already working with a group of teenagers, delivering training to them when lockdown started, so we set up a Zoom facility to finish their qualifications.

"We teach them about mental health and employability skills – like how to write a CV and how to apply to jobs. We also do first aid training with catastrophic bleeding.

"Two of them got jobs off the back of it and two of them have got apprenticeships."

The teenagers Stuart and Will have worked with so far include those who have been involved in knife crime and others who haven't got the qualifications they need to progress from school to college.

Stuart said: "Young people who are in this position are vulnerable and can be targeted for county lines and gangs because they're not doing anything.

"I want to use my story and what I've been through to help them and stop this from happening.

"When we've been into schools and I've told my story I find that because I've opened up so much it allows them to do the same.

"It's all about trust and once they trust you they will be more engaged in education and teaching which is delivered by Will."

Stuart and Will have also applied for lottery funding to roll out their qualifications to young people across Merseyside.

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