Schoolboy relives knifing terror

A SCHOOLBOY has relived the moment he almost died in a national television programme highlighting the rising tide of knife-crime among teenagers.Ben Goddard, of Stradbroke, near Eye, was attacked by a 15-year-old boy at a school in Suffolk in May 2003.

A SCHOOLBOY has relived the moment he almost died in a national television programme highlighting the rising tide of knife-crime among teenagers.

Ben Goddard, of Stradbroke, near Eye, was attacked by a 15-year-old boy at a school in Suffolk in May 2003.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and, in February, was sentenced to 12 months in a young offender institution.

The boy followed Ben into the school toilets, threatened to kill him and plunged a kitchen knife into his stomach.


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In the BBC's Panorama programme, Your Child's Been Stabbed, presenter Rageh Omaar investigated knife crime in the UK, uncovering evidence of the scale and extent of the problem.

Ben's case was used to show that it is not just an inner-city phenomenon, and the programme-makers successfully challenged a legal ruling that had previously prevented the media from naming him so his story could be told.

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Evidence reveals that the number of youngsters carrying - and using - knives has been massively under-reported in official crime figures.

Testimony is heard from children who have been stabbed, their parents and those for whom knives are part of everyday life.

In an interview with Mr Omaar, Ben, now 17, and his mother, Eileen Hollis, talk about what happened on the day and Ben recounts how he found out later that he actually died on the way to Ipswich Hospital.

Talking about the stabbing, he says: "I turned around and he was just standing there and then grabbed me by the collar and pulled me in like this . . . on to the knife in his fist and it just felt as if he'd punched me.

"I just took a step back and then I just caught . . . caught a glimpse of something around this area and I just looked down and there's a knife in my stomach and it just slid out."

Asked if the boy said anything, Ben replies: "Well, when he pulled me on to the knife, he said he was going to kill me and I thought he'd, like, hit me and I just thought that was it, sort of thing.

"And then I just saw the knife in my stomach and I just thought I had to get help straightaway.

"I remember going blank at one point and apparently I passed away in the ambulance and they brought me back around, and I just remember . . . getting to the hospital and then they said to operate straightaway."

Ben adds that at the time he was thinking he could die.

"That was just running through my mind and I was just trying to stay awake because they kept shouting at me, trying to keep me awake."

Ben, who is studying A-levels, needed blood transfusions, was put on a ventilator and underwent two major operations following the attack.

A talented Norwich City youth player, there had been fears that he might not play football again, but a few months later he joined a local team and recently spoke of his ambition to become a professional footballer.

The programme also talked to the parents of 14-year-old Luke Walmsley, from Lincolnshire, who was stabbed to death in school by a 16-year-old boy.

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