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Meet the ex-paramedic who saved the life of a stabbing victim

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 February 2020

Fiona Watson has received a Certificate of Commendation for saving the life of a stabbing victim in Marks Tey  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fiona Watson has received a Certificate of Commendation for saving the life of a stabbing victim in Marks Tey Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A former paramedic who saved the life of a stabbing victim after a vicious knife attack in Marks Tey has had her actions recognised by the High Sheriff of Suffolk.

Fiona Watson has received a Certificate of Commendation for saving the life of a stabbing victim in Marks Tey  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFiona Watson has received a Certificate of Commendation for saving the life of a stabbing victim in Marks Tey Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fiona Watson was at her home in Mandeville Road watching television at around 10.30pm on Halloween 2018 when she heard a loud thump on her front door.

She initially dismissed the sound as Halloween "hijinks" but when she looked out of her kitchen window she saw Leon Sobers, who is in his 40s, on her driveway shouting: "Help me. Let me in."

Mrs Watson, who was a technician and paramedic for 18 years as well as being a former police officer, noticed blood on his sleeve and immediately told her husband Reeves to open the door.

Mrs Watson sat Mr Sobers, who lived in Marks Tey, against a car while her husband dialled 999.

Left to right: Calvin Armstrong, 22, Donald Adu, 25 and Ermias Yohannes, 16 have all been found guilty of attempted murder. Picture: ESSEX POLICELeft to right: Calvin Armstrong, 22, Donald Adu, 25 and Ermias Yohannes, 16 have all been found guilty of attempted murder. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

When she examined Mr Sobers, she noticed four stab wounds on his back and then discovered his bowel was protruding.

He also had an injury to his arm.

Mr Sobers was sweating and pale - and recognising his injuries were life-threatening, she instructed her husband to contact the emergency services and inform them of the seriousness of the situation.

"He was extremely poorly," said Mrs Watson.

The High Sherfiff of Suffolk, Rosalind Eminson and Judge Martyn Levett presenting Fiona Watson with a certficate of commendation for her  bravery when she saved  the life of a stabbing victim  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe High Sherfiff of Suffolk, Rosalind Eminson and Judge Martyn Levett presenting Fiona Watson with a certficate of commendation for her bravery when she saved the life of a stabbing victim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

She got her husband to fetch a wet towel from the house to cover Mr Sobers' exposed bowel and she then tended to his other injuries until an ambulance arrived with the help of light from a mobile phone, her house and street lighting.

"Luckily everything worked like a dream. Two police officers arrived very quickly and an ambulance was there within eight minutes," she said.

MORE: Drugs gang trio jailed for stabbing man in ambush

Mrs Watson, who left the ambulance service in 2014 and now works at an animal rehabilitation centre, says she wasn't concerned for her own safety during the incident but was worried her eight-year-old son might wake up and come downstairs.

Today Mrs Watson, 47, was presented with a certificate of commendation by Roz Eminson, the High Sheriff of Suffolk.

Fiona Watson has received a Certificate of Commendation for saving the life of a stabbing victim in Marks Tey  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFiona Watson has received a Certificate of Commendation for saving the life of a stabbing victim in Marks Tey Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The commendation stated: "After the attack and by pure luck, Mr Sobers knocked on the door of a former paramedic, Mrs Fiona Watson, and she administered very effective first aid until the ambulance arrived.

"His injuries were significant and would have been life-threatening if it had not been for successful medical intervention at the scene itself and thereafter."

His attackers, Donald Adu, 25, of Stoke Newington, Calvin Armstrong, 22, of no fixed address and Ermias Yohannes, 16, of Eagle Drive, Colchester, were convicted of attempted murder in October last year after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court and were jailed for a total of 66 years.

In addition to the certificate of commendation, Mrs Foster was awarded £250 from public funds to acknowledge her sense of public duty.

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