A rape victim who was bound, gagged and repeatedly stabbed told today how she has been permanently left with the tip of her attacker’s blade stuck in her head.
Ross Parsons, 35, burst into his victim’s home with a large kitchen knife when she was sleeping before threatening: “Don’t say anything or I will kill you”.
He then subjected the terrified 46-year-old to a harrowing knifepoint sexual assault in her bedroom before tying her to the bed with her clothes and wires.
Parsons then stuffed her mouth with clothing, bound her so she could not move and set fire to the bed she was lying on in her home in Bedminster, Bristol.
She frantically tried to escape but Parsons launched a relentless knife attack – stabbing her more than 11 times in the chest, neck, face and head.
The brave digital media worker remarkably survived the chilling ordeal but has been left with the tip of the kitchen knife lodged behind her right ear.
Parsons, who had been released from prison just nine days before the attack, is currently serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 15 years.
Speaking for the first time after the October 2010 attack, his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, described her experience as “like a horror film”.
She told how she awoke in her bedroom in the early hours of the morning to find a snarling stranger at the door brandishing a knife.
“You see that sort of thing in horror films – it was like being in a horror film,” she said.
“It’s the most horrific thing that anyone could ever do to you.
“He was vile, but he didn’t beat me. I got the better of him by getting out alive and I’m proud of myself for that.
“Everyone is different, but when I saw him with that kitchen knife I was frightened, but I just felt really alert.
“I used every bit of information I had to survive. I went into survival mode.”
The woman used previous knowledge of Krav Magna self-defence, survival books and detective shows to prevent Parsons from taking her life.
Parsons had been out of prison on licence for just over a week, having served three-and-a-half years for robbery, assault, possession of an offensive weapon and theft.
He entered the house of his victim – who had been asleep alone in her bedroom – and inflicted the harrowing injuries through the sustained attack.
Parsons took her personal possessions, including her bank cards and told her he would not harm her if she gave him her pin numbers.
She did and Parsons left her alone in her bedroom – before returning twice more to rape her, stab her, and attempt to burn her alive.
He set alight two fires in her home, one on the bed which she was tied to and another by stuffing lit clothes down the back of a radiator in her downstairs hallway.
The woman said: “I was tied up and he set fire to the bed. That’s when I realised this is it, I’m going to die if I don’t do something.
“I was telling him to get out and that’s the point when he started stabbing me. I came down the stairs and he was still waiting for me.
“He was acting like someone in a horror film at that point and started attacking me again with the knife.
“I remember him stabbing me in the back of the head. I didn’t feel any pain – it was pure survival. You hear someone screaming and then your realise it’s you.
“I ended up on the floor. Apparently he stamped on my head too, but I was losing consciousness.”
Remarkably, the woman managed to flee from her burning property and alerted a neighbour who called police.
Officers launched a massive manhunt and Parsons, who has 20 previous convictions, was arrested two days later, on October 3, in Knowle, Bristol.
He refused to answer any questions but later admitted charges of attempted murder, rape, arson and aggravated burglary.
It transpired he had stolen just #250 from the woman, which he used to buy drugs.
His victim was left with chest wounds, a collapsed lung, 13 wounds to her head, face, arms and neck and knocked-back front teeth.
She lost all of her possessions in the fire and has been left with pain from severed muscles.
The woman added: “It’s something you live with every day. You can’t forget it or blank it out. You always feel like someone is trying to kill you.
“I have to tell people my story. That’s helped my recovery – not keeping it a secret. When I speak about it I feel like I’m helping myself and hopefully helping someone else.
“For me, I’m not emotional about it often. I try not to break down.”
She has been helped by Safe Links and the Bridge in Bristol, as well as police and supportive friends and family.
Incredibly, she is back at work and living alone again in another part of Bristol.
“The main thing that gives me comfort is the police caught him and he’s gone away for a long time”, she added.
“For some victims, the attacker is still walking the streets.”