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Man describes his desperate struggle with Joker-obsessed knifeman
A MAN brutally stabbed by a deranged knifeman has told looking into his eyes was like looking into the eyes of an animal.
Bleeding profusely from 16 wounds, Josh Henley gripped body builder Dale Pipe close to him as he fought for his life on the floor of Belle Vue Leisure Centre in Consett, County Durham in January.
Twenty-one-year-old Pipe, a former chef who was obsessed with the Joker character from the Batman films, had armed himself with an axe, kitchen and craft knives before randomly targeting Mr Henley.
Pipe was eventually overpowered by leisure centre staff and was yesterday (Wednesday) made the subject of an indeterminate hospital order after admitting carrying out the unprovoked attack.
Speaking at his home in Consett, where he still recovering, Mr Henley, 22, said he had gone to the gym and was standing at the urinal when he noticed someone come in.
Recounting the attack, he said: "The next thing I know I got a whack on my back quite high up - and then over and over again in a split second.
"I flinched trying to figure out what was going on. I turned around and noticed blood gushing from my neck.
"He had snuck up as quietly as he could and then stabbed me ten times before I had even turned around.
"It was ferocious the way he was swinging his right arm with the knife in his hand. I knew I never had any other option but to try and get a grip of him, in whatever way I could and get to hold of the knife."
Mr Henley said his only option was to headbutt his attacker and then the pair fell to the floor.
"We were about nose to nose," he said. "I'll never forget the look in his eyes.
"You won't see a look that in anybody's eyes in a film or hopefully in your life . . ever . . .anywhere. It was like an animal look.
"He never said a word to me."
Mr Henley said he was "immensely thankful" to leisure centre workers, Steve Clasper and Kevin Reay, who came in and eventually talked Pipe down and to ambulance and medical staff who helped save his life.
He said: "When I was taken to the air ambulance, as I was being strapped in I said (to the paramedic) Be honest with me. How bad is it?
"He said It is bad, but you'll be ok. That was reassuring to hear, but - I am not going to lie - I struggled to believe him."
Mr Henley said he was now focusing on his physiotherapy and his goal was to get himself in "as good if not better shape" than he was before the attack.
He added: "It was a terrible experience, but (Pipe's) motive was to try and put fear into people, by trying to make himself appear like a Joker.
"But as far as I am concerned he failed, because he hasn't frightened me.
"He may have hurt me temporarily, but I am back on the road to being what I was before."
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