FULL STORY: Knife attack terror
IT WAS A FIGHT to avoid certain death – a struggle in which Margaret Christopher wrestled bravely on the ground with her attacker, grabbing the hand with which he was holding the knife to prevent him from cutting her anymore.
That valiant struggle, the intervention of a motorist who stopped his vehicle and spoke to her attacker in an attempt to calm him, and then the timely assistance of a resident who bandaged her face, each contributed to her being alive today.
Christopher was attacked in Parris Hill, St Joseph, last Tuesday around 7:15 a.m. in what appeared to be a case of attempted murder and suicide as a result of a domestic dispute. Her attacker, who slit his wrists at the scene after injuring the mother of two, is still getting medical treatment and continues to be under police guard.
Yesterday the 27-year-old, of Halls Road, St Michael, said though she was in severe pain, she was happy to be alive. She was most grateful to be able to see her son again.
Though Christopher’s injuries were not life-threatening, they were serious. She can barely hear anything in the right ear and has several stitches from there to the corner of her mouth. She also has stitches across the collar bone where she was first slashed in the attacker’s failed attempt to cut her throat. Her right little finger is so severely injured, possibly with tendon damage, that the surgeon has bent it into position to assist with its healing, and that hand is heavily bandaged as she has stitches from the cuts she sustained trying to grab the knife.
The tall, slender, dreadlocked Christopher, in a quiet voice, confirmed she was involved in an eight-year relationship with her alleged attacker from her teenaged years when they lived in St Lucia where they were born.
The attempt on her life came about after they separated earlier this year and she moved out, taking their six-year-old son with her. After that, she said he constantly harassed her so much so that she had him warned by the police.
Recounting last Tuesday, Christopher said she sent her son outside to see if his father was around as he often was. The boy did not see him so they proceeded to the bus stop to take the minibus that usually passed around 6:55 a.m. en route to St Joseph.
However, she recalled, when they got to the stop, her ex-lover appeared from behind a wall. The shop assistant claimed he grabbed a cellphone from her pocket and started calling her names.
Moments later, the bus came and he boarded behind her and their son. Aboard the bus they had a few sharp exchanges and at one point he sat next to her and they scuffled before she managed to push him off the seat.
“I told him whatever I do have nothing to do with him because we done as far as I know,” Christopher said she told him in response to his constant accusations that she was involved with someone else.
When the bus reached Parris Hill, she reported, he was first to disembark after squeezing her hand on the handrail when she stood up. He however kept close to the door, she said she believed, to be able to jump back in if she did not get off. Christopher claimed that on getting off the bus he held onto her hand, and again threatened her life.
She asked him why he wanted to do that given their son was there, and if she was gone and he locked up, who would look after him. He said he had family who would look after the boy.
“He keep on telling me about man all the time, which he never catch me with anytime, anywhere. I was crying and he showed me the knife. It was a box knife they use on construction,” related Christopher.
She said at that time a woman who works with her was approaching and she told her to call the police. It was at this point she alleged that the attack began.
“He grabbed me . . . and hold up my neck. At the same time I trying to bring my head down because he trying to bring it back up – that is why he end up cutting me right there because he wanted to cut my throat,” she said.
Christopher said though she felt that wound she never felt the one across her face.
“I don’t know how but he and I were wrestling on the ground. I was trying to get the knife from him, that is why my hand end up getting cut. He bit my hand whilst I was trying to get the knife from him.”
She said she somehow managed to get away from him and got across the road towards the steps leading to the shop at which she worked. Two vehicles were passing and she tried unsuccessfully to stop them. The third one stopped and the man in it tried to calm her ex-lover.
Christopher managed to make it to the steps where resident Vear Brathwaite came to her assistance by ripping the vest from his body and wrapping her jaw which, unknown to her, was flapping.
She did not know this as by the time she was no longer fully conscious. The heavily bandaged Christopher, who has been living here for the last five years, said she was now awaiting the actions of the police and the court on the matter.
“And after that probably I will have to go home and start a new life,” she said.