"My life has been left in ruins" says Wallington stab victim
A removal man left in a coma after a frenzied knife attack has told how his life has been "left in ruins".
Darren Jones, 44, was comatose for more than two weeks after being stabbed seven times near his flat on Stafford Road, Wallington, in October last year.
Jones, a father-of-three and grandfather-of-one, had simply made the mistake of intervening in another family's row at the Windmill pub.
After overhearing a man swear at his own mother, Mr Jones told him to "have some respect".
An hour later, Mr Jones was fighting for his life in the arms of his girlfriend after Wayne McClatchie had plunged a kitchen knife into him seven times.
McClatchie, 29, was sentenced to six years in prison at Croydon Crown Court last month, but Mr Jones said the sentence was "shocking".
He said: "He will be out walking the streets of Wallington again in a couple of years, laughing, while I'm sat here with my life ruined.
"I was expecting him to do at least 10 years. He nearly killed me."
Mr Jones nearly died three times after being saved by police officers on the scene and his family were told to expect the worst as he lay in a coma.
The horrific injuries put a huge strain on his relationship and led to the split with his girlfriend of three years, Maria.
Mr Jones, who can barely talk after being stabbed three times in the neck, said: "I missed Christmas, my grand-kid's birthday, and Maria's birthday, and now I'm told I can't go back to work.
"I've been a removal man since I left school, it's all I know, and now they say I can't do it. I don't know what I'm going to do."
Doctors had to remove Mr Jones' appendix, half his small bowel, part of his colon and half of his large bowel as well as opening his rib cage three times in order to drain blood.
Maria said: "When I saw Wayne (the assailant) and Darren in the street, I thought Darren was being punched. Then I saw he wasn't fighting back and I started panicking."
Jones was lucky to survive after being stabbed three times in the neck, once in the side, twice in the stomach and once in the back.
"I don't feel very lucky," he added.