Manhunt after stabbing horror

A MANHUNT is under way today after a teenager was left fighting for his life following a vicious town centre stabbing.Suffolk police sealed off parts of Ipswich town centre and appealed for help in tracking down two men believed to be involved in inflicting at least four separate stab wounds on 19-year-old Matthew Buckman.

A MANHUNT was under way today after a teenager was left fighting for his life following a vicious town centre stabbing.

Suffolk police sealed off parts of Ipswich town centre and appealed for help in tracking down two men believed to be involved in inflicting at least four separate stab wounds on 19-year-old Matthew Buckman.

The hunt was sparked by a violent attack in an alleyway off Upper Brook Street at about 1.45am yesterday.

Officers said the teenager was involved in an altercation with two men, during which he suffered severe injuries.

Witnesses reported seeing a deep wound to the back of Mr Buckman's neck, a severe cut through his left ear, a laceration to his face and also a cut to his wrist.

Police said yesterday he was in a critical condition in Ipswich Hospital.

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A large pool of blood could be seen outside Zing wine bar in Tacket Street where the man had sought help from people in the street. Furniture outside the bar was covered in blood and several blood-drenched paper towels and tea towels could also be seen outside.

Patrons had still been inside the bar when Mr Buckman, rapidly losing blood, staggered up to a group of people outside.

Yesterday the pavement at the front of the bar remained sealed off, as was the alleyway running from Upper Brook Street to the Tacket Street car park.

It is thought the attack took place in the alleyway shortly before the teenager staggered into Tacket Street in search of help.

A white tent was erected at the site of the stabbing as police gathered evidence throughout the day.

A police spokesman said yesterday: “Enquiries are at an early stage but police do have basic descriptions of the two men.

“One of the men is described as white, approximately 5ft 9in tall, clean shaven, with short fair hair and aged in his late teens or early 20s.

“The other man is described as being taller than the first man with short dark hair.”

The attack came during a weekend marred by violence. It happened only a day after a 25-year-old man was hospitalised with injuries to his face after he was attacked with a bottle in Nacton Road, Ipswich, at 1.30am on Saturday.

At 1am on Saturday a 20-year-old woman was hospitalised after being assaulted outside Xcel nightclub in Station Road East, Stowmarket, while, an hour before that attack, a man was discovered outside Boots in Victoria Street, Felixstowe, with a head injury suffered in another assault.

Did you witness the stabbing or see the victim in the street? Have you been a victim of violent crime? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

A BAR owner today told of the moment a stabbing victim who was rapidly losing blood staggered up to him in a desperate bid for help.

Gus Chrysomalis, owner of Zing wine bar, was standing outside the Tacket Street bar with two street pastors when the man approached them.

Initially they didn't realise there was a problem, but Mr Chrysomalis said it quickly became apparent the man had been the victim of a “sustained attack”.

He said: “We had stopped serving but we were still open. It was about 1.45am.

“We were talking to the street pastors and he just came up between them.

“When he first walked up the blood was just down the side of his face

“Then we noticed he was losing a lot of blood. His ear was cut right through, he had a laceration down his face but his neck was the worst.

“He also had a cut on his wrist.”

Immediately Mr Chrysomalis, a trained first aider, and the street pastors sat the man down outside the bar and applied pressure to his wounds. He was said to be in deep shock and was lapsing in and out of consciousness.

“He was only a young guy,” he said.

“It was a sustained attack without a doubt. I don't know if it was a bottle or knife.”

As customers left the bar, Mr Chrysomalis and the street pastors kept the man talking in the hope of stopping him from falling unconscious.

Mr Chrysomalis said: “We sat him down and we applied pressure to his wounds.

“From our point of view it was just keeping him conscious until the ambulance got there and making sure he didn't lose too much blood.

“He was very calm. I think he'd gone past the pain side of it and was drifting in and out of consciousness.

“The ambulance turned up and they were very quick to get him on a stretcher and to hospital.”

A STREET pastor today told how two volunteers who helped a seriously injured stabbing victim had feared they were watching the life drain from him as blood poured from his wounds.

Reverend Paul Daltry, the chairman of Ipswich's Town Pastors scheme, said the pair had been left “shell-shocked” by their experience but had done everything they could to help the man and keep him alive.

Mr Daltry said: “They described it as very bloody.

“They said they felt as if they could see the life draining from him. He was in deep, deep shock.”

The pastors had been talking to the owners of Zing wine bar at about 1.45am yesterday when the man staggered up to them bleeding from wounds to his neck, ear, face and wrist.

They are among more than 60 trained volunteers who walk the streets of the town centre every Friday and Saturday night offering help to anyone needs it.

Mr Daltry said yesterday's stabbing was “about as extreme” an experience as the street pastors have experienced.

He said: “There was a friend with him who was trying to support him.

“The pastors sat him down, they realised he was in shock so they put his legs up to help blood flow.

“They kept him conscious as best they could.”

Gus Chrysomalis, owner of Zing, said he thought the man must have seen the high-visibility jackets worn by the street pastors and approached them for help.

He said: “I imagine he staggered down the street and eventually ended up where we were.

“I imagine he saw the fluorescent jackets of the pastors and just walked towards them.”

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