Blind man fights off knife thug

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A BLIND and disabled former biker has revealed how he bravely fought back at a knife-wielding robber.

Stuart Gunn, 38, opened his door to the vile criminal on Thursday lunchtime, thinking he was a postman delivering ordered Christmas presents.

But if the robber thought he had found a vulnerable target he was proved spectacularly wrong as the former motorcycle racer fought back with crutches and chased him out of his Edinburgh home.

Stuart Gunn in his Edinburgh home

 

Police are now appearing for witnesses following the attack that left Stewart with cuts to his face.

Officers praised Stuart’s tenacity and courage, describing him as “a great guy who’ll bounce back”.

Stuart, who was left blind and disabled after a horrific motorcycle accident, said: “I thought it was the postman so I answered the door. But straight away I felt a knife at my neck.

“The guy stank of BO and cigarette smoke and demanded my wallet and phone.

“He also grabbed my sunglasses off my face and made remarks about my condition that I don’t feel comfortable repeating.”

He added: “I chased him to the main door to the flat out front and hit out with my crutch and that’s when he came back at me.

“I didn’t know I had cut my face until I felt the blood on my left hand.

“I then pressed my emergency buzzer and the workers contacted the police for me.”

Stuart said he felt “shaken and angry” but glad it had not turned out worse.

Horrific

His partner of two years, Donna Chapman, 34, said: “What I really want to say you couldn’t print. But I will say it’s horrific that someone could think of doing this.”

Donna, who is also Stuart’s carer, added: “Whether people have got a drug problem or anything else, nothing justifies this kind of situation.

“Not only that, the guy had already got his glasses, wallet and phone and stuff – there was no reason to come back and assault him just because Stuart tried to stop him.

“But I’m proud of Stuart for sticking up for himself and hopefully the guy who came round got more of a fright.”

Stuart has been completely paralysed down the right-hand side of his body for 10 years following a motorcycle accident in 2002.

He suffered seizures for a number of years before finally losing his vision almost five years ago.

He added: “Ten years ago I was in a bike crash. I got t-boned by a car and flipped over the bonnet.

“My legs went through the windscreen and my head and shoulders went through the sunroof.

“It was the most agonising thing I’ve ever experienced.

“It was like someone drew a line down my face and body and everything on the right-hand side just didn’t exist.

“Then about four and a half years ago I had this seizure that lasted two hours straight and when I came out there was no anything – no light, no dark, no shapes, no shadows.

“Just complete blackness.”

Accident

Before the accident Stuart had a top job working in IT, controlling the invoicing network for the insurance company’s call centres.

But his passion lay in motorbikes and he has raced them since he was 14-years-old – a passion he is continuing as he attempts a new world record next year.

He added: “Bikes were, and continue to be, part of my life. I raced them as a teenager and next year I’m hoping to break the world land speed record on a motorbike driven by a blind man.

“The current record is 164mph but I’m hoping to get up about 180-190mph.”

Detective Sergeant Dave Pinkney from Lothian and Borders Police said: “This was a despicable and opportunistic theft, which targeted a vulnerable man who was virtually unable to defend himself.

“Never in my 18 years in the police have I seen anything like this. But Stuart is a great guy who’ll bounce back.”

However police have not ruled out that the attacker may have known Stuart and his condition.

Det Sgt Pinkney added: “Anyone who was in the Broughton Road area on Wednesday afternoon and remembers seeing anything suspicious, or who can help us trace the man responsible for this crime is asked to contact police immediately.

“We can’t rule out the possibility that the suspect knew Stuart given the nature of the incident.

The suspect is described as being in his mid-20s or early 30s and around 5ft 10ins tall with a slim build and had a local accent.

Police hope that customers of the nearby Tesco supermarket or commuters of the bus lane on the road outside Stuart’s house may have seen something.

Anyone with information should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers in complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.

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