Stabbed grandad wants to meet attacker

AN engineer stabbed 13 times by a former American serviceman last night told how he would like to meet his attacker face-to-face and ask him one question: why?In June this year, United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Lorenzo Sanchez walked free from Ipswich Crown Court when he was found not guilty by reason of insanity of stabbing 63-year-old Derek Thrower after kicking down his hotel door in Suffolk.

AN engineer stabbed 13 times by a former American serviceman last night told how he would like to meet his attacker face-to-face and ask him one question: why?

In June this year, United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Lorenzo Sanchez walked free from Ipswich Crown Court when he was found not guilty by reason of insanity of stabbing 63-year-old Derek Thrower after kicking down his hotel door in Suffolk.

Grandfather Mr Thrower, a former Suffolk resident who now lives in France, underwent five hours of surgery to repair a punctured lung.

That Sanchez stabbed Mr Thrower 13 times at the Wherry Hotel, Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, was not disputed at court, but the jury found that the 28-year-old survival expert formerly based at RAF Mildenhall, was in a dissociated state at the time of the incident.


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It has now emerged that Sanchez has been discharged from the United States Air Force (USAF) and is now living in America.

Mr Thrower, who lived in Mildenhall for seven years before moving to Brittany with his family four years ago, is currently drawing together legal documents with a view to suing the USAF.

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Speaking from his home yesterday, Mr Thrower said as well as wanting a formal apology from the USAF he also wanted one day to sit down with Sanchez to ask why he attacked him.

He said: “I have thought a couple of times that I would just like him to sit in front of me and for him to explain to me why he did that.

“I do not think he would have an answer, but I would like the opportunity to ask the question or maybe speak with his family.”

Mr Thrower also revealed how a woman who presented herself as Sanchez's sister had apologised to him for her brother's actions during the court case at Ipswich Crown Court in June.

He said: “A youngish lady came up to me and said she would like to say how deeply sorry she was that this had happened and that her family are praying for me everyday. I thought that took tremendous courage and guts to come up and say that to me at that time.”

Sanchez's family are believed to live in La Luz, New Mexico, but the EADT has not been able to make contact with either them or Sanchez himself.

In terms of his civil claim against the USAF, Mr Thrower said he would be meeting his Colchester-based legal team in the next couple of weeks to progress the case.

He estimates he has lost between £40,000 and £65,000 in earnings since the incident on May 11, 2005.

Mr Thrower, who works as an electromechanical service engineer, has been largely unable to work since the attack took place as a result of both his physical injuries and the emotional trauma he has endured.

laurence.cawley@eadt.co.uk

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