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Agony of stabbing frenzy victim

PUBLISHED: 14:30 05 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 March 2010

A DOORMAN who was repeatedly stabbed in front of hundreds of stunned onlookers in the centre of Ipswich, today told of the anguish that his young family has gone through.

A DOORMAN who was repeatedly stabbed in front of hundreds of stunned onlookers in the centre of Ipswich, today told of the anguish that his young family has gone through.

Matthew Cook, 31, runs door security at clubs and pubs across East Anglia, and is responsible for providing staff at night spots in Ipswich such as Liquid and Chicago's.

It was incidents outside these venues that eventually led to him being stabbed with a bullet by Kamil Brahmi as he shopped with his fiancée in Tavern Street on a Saturday afternoon in April.

Mr Cook suffered four puncture wounds to his upper body, as well as a severe cut to his chin. One of the wounds missed his heart by 2mm, and another entered his lung cavity, splitting an artery and causing blood to seep into his lungs.

Last week a jury at Ipswich Crown Court found Brahmi, an Algerian immigrant of Old Foundry Road, Ipswich, guilty of unlawful wounding, but not guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Brahmi is due back in court later this month when he is to be sentenced for the attack. But Mr Cook has been left stunned by the verdicts.

"I'm surprised he wasn't up for attempted murder," he said.

"In court he came up with all this stuff about it being God's will that he punched me and that it was a fight between two men and that I hadn't surrendered. Well next time I'll carry a white hanky with me! If I had said that I would have been laughed out of court.

"They tried to make out that because I'm big and because of my business that I was the bad guy. But I am the one with four puncture wounds who until recently still found it difficult to walk across the road. My family have been through hell because of this."

Mr Cook first came across Brahmi when he removed him from Liquid nightclub in February when he tried to get into a fight.

Mr Cook said Brahmi threatened him after being ejected.

"I didn't take it very seriously," he said. "Then some time later I saw him outside Chicago's. There is policies that if you are banned from one club you are banned from all and he wasn't allowed in."

Mr Cook said Brahmi then made further threats against him.

On the day of the stabbing, Mr Cook was with out shopping with his fiance, preparing to take her for an evening meal.

"We made eye contact and as I went into Boots with Sarah he waited outside. He came up to me and we got in a scuffle. I told him to leave it and walk off, but he started hitting me and so I pushed him to the floor. As I turned away he ran at me and headbutted me. I could hear Sarah screaming. There was a little girl watching and crying and Kamil stood on her. It was awful.

"I saw him reach into his pocket and pull out some keys. I did not see the bullet and didn't even know I'd been stabbed."

After the incident, Mr Cook was taken to Spangles jewellers in The Walk.

"I thought to myself that I had a huge sweat," he said.

"My whole body was wet. It was only when I took off my top I realised it was blood. It was everywhere, you could see it pouring out of these four holes in my body."

He was rushed to Ipswich Hospital and put into intensive care.

"I had an epidural because I was in so much pain," said Mr Cook.

"I was so miserable. Sarah was coming to see me and I just had a go at her. It was so hard for her. I had tubes coming out of my body and I couldn't turn over. I didn't sleep for days."

When he came out of hospital, a man who was used to be being fit and strong was reduced to having to get help in everyday chores.

"I couldn't even walk to the shops without having to stop and sit down," he said. "It was like that for 12 weeks but I was determined to get to work."

Mr Cook was asked by his family not to return, but couldn't wait to get back to work. He purchased a bullet and stab proof body jacket and regularly patrols the doors of Ipswich clubs.

His 22-year-old fiance said: "It was awful, I just felt sick. I didn't know he'd been stabbed until I saw the blood. It was everywhere. They wouldn't let me go in the ambulance and I didn't know what to do.

"It was awful going to see him in hospital. He was in so much pain. I have had to look after him and I still worry about him a lot."

Mr Cook, who has asked for his address and details of his children to be withheld for fear of further attacks, says that he is now looking forward to the future.

"Everyone said to me that I should give up my job but I couldn't. It's like anything. If you let it scare you then you'll just quit and never get anything done. I like my job. Doctors said I'm lucky to be alive and now I intend to make the most of my life."

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