Knife attack mum’s pride after hero son saves her life


A loving mother has told how she owes her life to the hero son who stepped in when her jealous husband plunged an eight-inch carving knife into her neck.

Joanne Roberts, 41, was attacked by drunken husband Graham Richards, 53, at their home after he wrongly accused her of having an affair.

He flew into a jealous rage and plunged the eight-inch carving knife into her neck shouting ”You’re going to die”.

Joanne managed to scream for son Daniel, 18, who – with the aid of a baseball bat – managed to subdue his murderous stepfather.

She spoke out after Daniel, a carpenter, was awarded the Chief Constable’s Good Citizenship Award for his remarkable heroism.

Joanne, of Plymouth, Devon, said: ”He’s my hero – I’m just so very very proud of him. If it wasn’t for Daniel, I wouldn’t be here now.

”I’m so glad he was there that night. As a whole family, we’re proud of him and what he did.”

The attack took place on August 31st last year while Joanne was recovering from back surgery that left her housebound and reliant on crutches.

Joanne and her husband of six years had settled down to watch a film when he began to make accusations about her having an affair after drinking seven or eight cans of lager.

He flew into a rage and grabbed an eight-inch carving blade – advertised as ”the world’s sharpest knife” – before he plunged the knife into her neck.

He then drove it down into her chest cavity, puncturing her lung and leaving her with ”catastrophic injuries.”

She said: ”I could see his shadow coming towards me. I don’t know how he dragged me out of my chair but suddenly we were face to face.

”He stuck the knife into my throat and then pushed it downwards and said, ‘You’re going to die’.

”I thought I was dead. The blood was gushing out everywhere. I was gasping for breath. I could feel myself going.

”My eyes were rolling and my breathing was going. I thought that was the end of my life.

”I screamed for my Daniel and he came – without him, I would be dead.”

Moments later Daniel, who was 17 at the time, ran into the room armed with a baseball bat and managed to drive Richards away.

Brave Daniel then carried Joanne into the street where neighbours rallied to help.

He said: ”I could hear my mum in distress and came down. Mum was lying on the floor trying to get to the phone.

”He was lying on top of her with a knife in his hand. I hit him with the bat twice but he still had the knife in his hand.

”I wasn’t scared. I didn’t care. I just wanted to help my mum. I wasn’t even thinking. It was just instinct. It was just, ‘Help my mum, help my mum’.”

He pulled off his T-shirt and held it against the the wound gushing from her neck, but Richards picked up the bat and chase the pair out of the house.

Daniel, along with a neighbour, fought and restrained him until police arrived.

Richards pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to ten years in prison at Plymouth Crown Court in February this year.

At the hearing Judge Francis Gilbert praised Daniel saying: ”Daniel’s actions saved the life of his mother; there is no doubt at all.”

The teen, who has recently started a two-year carpentry apprenticeship, was awarded the Chief Constable’s Good Citizenship award from Devon and Cornwall police for his bravery on Tuesday.

Plymouth’s Chief Superintendent Andy Bickley said: ”The actions Daniel took demonstrate an immense amount of bravery and courage.

”If it had not been for his quick thinking and decisive action, the situation could have led to a very different and devastating outcome.”


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