Dad's letter to knife thugs

A FATHER-of-three who was viciously attacked with a knife while walking home has written an open letter to the thugs who assaulted him

A FATHER-of-three who was viciously attacked with a knife while walking home has written an open letter to the thugs who assaulted him.Jim Patston says the attack, which happened in Worle, has changed his and his family's life forever. Jim, husband to Tanya and father of Iona, aged 15, Charlie, aged 13, and two-year-old Paddy, wrote:"I write this letter to the three people who attacked me, who followed me from The Woodspring pub to Mendip Avenue and then changed the way that I look and the way that I look at other people, maybe forever. In case you were in any doubt as to whether or not you achieved what you set out to do on the night of Sunday, May 27, let me see if I can help you. "I am told the two dozen or so cuts that you made to my face with your Stanley knife will mostly heal and the final blow one of you struck to my belly, as the other two held me, only managed to pierce my clothing and the metal badge that I wear to work that was in my pocket. Funny isn't it, possibly the only thing between me making it home to my family that night and me being a bloody mess on the floor down a dark alley was a little tin badge - so sorry to disappoint, how were you supposed to know it was there? "What you may or may not be interested to hear is how your actions have affected my family as I do not know whether or not you have family yourselves. My wife reacted as anyone would have to a loved one arriving home dazed and covered in blood after an evening stroll, but she managed to compose herself for the sake of our teenage daughter who was, and still is, deeply affected by what you have done. My eldest son was, thankfully, away that night and so when he saw what you had done to me the following morning I was alert, good humoured and slightly less bloody, although for a boy with the compassion to be moved by such things I think that the effect will unfortunately be long lasting for him. My youngest son was fast asleep when I returned home that night but struggled to understand the next morning why daddy looked so different, and he cried. "You are not brave men and you have no humanity. I was not and am not scared of you. My thoughts that night were with my family and returning home safely to them. That is how I protect them. I am a husband and a father and it is what I do. My job now is to pick up the pieces and to tell my wife and my children that what you have done, far from constituting the natural run and order of humanity, goes against on every level what it is to be human. "I am a normal man and will not spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder and being scared of the shadows and I pray I can give my family this same peace. You, however, looking into the eyes of each and every one of you, I know you are neither brave enough nor bold enough to allow yourselves this fundamental right as you have chosen a life of weakness. "Individually I'm sure you fade into the background and lack the spirit and courage to allow yourselves to stand out as someone special and unique. Instead you choose to blindly follow other like-minded individuals in the foolish hope this will, in some way, make you less responsible for your actions. And for what? Some misplaced loyalty, to prove something to your peers, a dare maybe, or just something to do on a Sunday night. Quite frankly, I don't care. If you are as lacking in the qualities that it takes to make decent people as I think you are then this letter may mean nothing to you. Who knows, it may even help bolster your reputations in some way within your small group. "Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people and I understand the world is still the same place as it was before you did what you did to me. It is no better or no worse and, hopefully, one day my wife and children will understand this too. "In parting I ask you this: are you that far gone and do you lack the mental and emotional capacity to the point that you cannot even begin to fathom the consequences of your actions? Or is there still hope for you and your children, and for your children's children? We must all strive to make our small places in the world better for the simple fact that we are in it, that's what it means to be human.

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