Police wait by victim's bed

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

POLICE were waiting yesterday at the hospital bedside of a man who staggered into a cottage after being stabbed repeatedly.

A massive police search was mounted on Wednesday for Roy Miles, 45, after a visitor to his timber and fencing business at Wheely Down, Warnford, Hampshire, saw signs of a struggle.

When Mr Miles, who had been missing for nine hours, stumbled into the cottage in Wheely Down at 11.15pm, he was taken to hospital.

An aeroplane and spotter dogs had been searching for him. Yesterday Anna Couldridge, a nurse, told of helping to save his life when he stumbled into the home of her next-door neighbour.

She said: 'It was horrific. Mr Miles staggered to the cottage with a knife sticking in his throat. He was able to talk but was obviously very seriously injured. I knew the best thing was not to remove the knife.

'He said he'd been attacked by two men in his workshop who beat him unconscious. The next thing he knew was when he came to at the reservoir and it was dark . . .

'The incredible thing is that he managed to scramble back over the barbed wire fence in the condition he was in. He said he staggered through the woods for about a mile. He couldn't see where he was going and kept falling over. It's a miracle the knife didn't dislodge because if it had it would have almost certainly have killed him . . .

'It was just lucky he came to when he did. If he had stayed there much longer he would have died.

'There was blood on his shirt where he had cut himself on the fence and as he staggered through the woods but, amazingly, there was no blood coming from his neck.

'He said the men who attacked him were big and had been drinking.'

Mr Miles, who lives in Bishops Waltham, underwent emergency surgery at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester for knife wounds.

Police believe a robbery was the motive for the stabbing, which they are treating as an attempted murder.

A spokesman said they had not yet pieced together the period when Mr Miles was missing.

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