DELIVERY driver Derek Britton has spoken of the terrifying moment when a hooded man attacked him and stabbed him with a syringe.
Grandfather-of-one Derek was at work with stock in his unmarked van when he heard a bang on the back of the vehicle in Uplands Crescent, Fareham, on Tuesday at 12.50pm.
Fearing a cyclist had hit the van, Derek jumped out to help him, only for the man to stab him twice in the stomach with what he believes was a syringe.
Now 58-year-old Derek, a veteran who served in the Falklands and Northern Ireland with the army, faces an agonising wait as he is tested for HIV, hepatitis and tetanus, which will take three months. He has appealed for people to come forward so that his attacker can be caught.
Derek, of Central Road, Portchester, said: ‘I have had guns pointed at me in the past but this was just ridiculous.
‘There was no provocation whatsoever. It was so quick.’
This person needs to come forward or somebody needs to give up his name so the police can question his motive for it and give us some peace of mind.Jackie Britton, 53, wife of delivery driver Derek
Derek said he was only driving at about 5mph when the bang – which he now thinks was an attempt to break into his van – happened. When he got out, he saw a bike to the side and a man with his hood up and face covered.
He said: ‘His head was down and his arm was out. I thought he was going to collapse and that was the way I read the situation. I read it wrong. My natural reaction was to stop him falling down, and that’s when his arm came out.
‘To stab me once could be accidental, but twice is deliberate.
‘If it had been a knife then you could get over it but now there’s 12 weeks of worry. Physically I am tired, mentally I am exhausted.’
For Derek this worry is compounded by the fact that his wife Jackie, 53, contracted hepatitis C from contaminated blood in a transfusion during childbirth in 1983.
She was only diagnosed in 2011 and the family has experienced first-hand the debilitating aspects of the illness.
Jackie said: ‘Everyone is in shock. For us it is like history repeating itself.’
Derek said: ‘The worst part is not knowing.’
Jackie hopes that someone will come forward with information so the perpetrator can be found and their medical records checked.
She said: ‘It’s three months of uncertainty. There was no provocation, no reason in the world for this to happen.
‘This person needs to come forward or somebody needs to give up his name so the police can question his motive for it and give us some peace of mind.’
Police want to hear from attack witnesses
POLICE have appealed for help to catch the person who attacked delivery driver Derek Britton and stabbed him with what is believed to be a syringe.
They said the attack happened at the junction of Uplands Crescent and Serpentine Road, Fareham, between 12.40pm and 12.50pm on Tuesday.
A spokesman described the attacker as white, in his 20s, slim and wearing a navy hooded top with the hood over his face, grey tracksuit trousers, and white trainers. He was riding a light blue mountain bike. Witnesses should call 101 quoting 44150373491.