The victim of a frenzied knife attack has spoken exclusively to the ‘Tiser — and relived the horrifying moment he nearly died.
Peter Eizens, 62, was stabbed ‘20 times’ when a masked man carrying a carving knife started ‘slashing it around’, seriously injuring the veteran shopkeeper.
He was then ‘left for dead’ when the intruder, who has not been caught, was interrupted by builders who burst in after a school boy passing by heard the commotion in Sue’s Off Licence on Station Road, Ilkeston.
Mr Eizens, who owned and ran the shop for 25 years, was speaking on the first anniversary of the vicious attack.
He said: “It was like a normal morning, I’d just come back from fetching my papers but when I got back to the shop there he was, stood in front of me with a balaclava and hood on. A scarf was wrapped around his face and he was holding this huge knife.
“He launched himself towards me and I tried to slam the door on him but somehow I ended up on the floor. He was stamping on my head and trying to stab me in the face and heart but I was fending him off, then I blacked out.
“I came round and we were grappling again, this time I was trying to get his arms so I could stop him from stabbing me.
“There was blood everywhere but I just kept at him. I was fighting for my shop and my life.”
A year after the attack on March 18 last year, Mr Eizens’ physical wounds have healed but he is still suffering mentally and has lost his home and business as a result of that day’s events.
But bravely he is determined not to let his attacker ‘win’, despite telling the ‘Tiser he feels let down by the police because they have not caught the knife-wielding masked man.
This week, in a move that demonstrates his determination not to be beaten by his attacker, he presented a cheque for £500 to the ward at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham he credits with saving his life.
The cash for ward C30 was raised by his friends at Pathfinder Tours — a group that organise steam train trips — through on-board raffles.
He said: “It takes a lot to get your head around the fact that you nearly died. I was in the ambulance outside after the attack because they didn’t want to move me while I was unstable.
“I had several operations and the care I received was second to none.
“Without the staff there I wouldn’t be here today.”
After losing his business and home as a direct result of the frenzied attack, moving on has been difficult for Mr Eizens, a dad of two and grandfather of five.
He explained: “I’ve moved away from the area.
“I couldn’t run the shop after the attack, I discharged my self from hospital three days later fully intending to come back and open to say ‘you tried to kill me but I’m still here’. But my family begged me not to.
“I’ve lost my business and while I was unable to work it was broken into and thousands of pounds worth of stock was taken. My physical injuries have healed but mentally I am still coming to terms with it.”
But the main reason Mr Eizens says he is struggling to move on is because he feels let down by the police.
“Ever since day one they called this an armed robbery, but not even a penny sweet was taken. My attacker would have heard me returning and he was waiting on the other side of the door, he could have ran then but didn’t. He was determined.
“As far as I’m concerned this was an attempted murder and that’s the way it should have been investigated.
“I was left for dead, he had plenty of opportunity to escape or take what he wanted but not so much as a chocolate bar was gone when police took me back to the shop.”
Mr Eizens says he doubted his attacker would be bought to justice. He explained: “To be honest I never expected for this case to be solved, I even said that to the officer in charge.
“Over the years I’ve had reason to call the police on a number of occasions, I had lit cigarettes posted through the shop letterbox, the window has been smashed on numerous occasions, I’ve been shot at with a ball-bearing (bb) gun, the list goes on.”
A Derbyshire police spokesman said: “This serious incident led to a detailed investigation over several months in an effort to bring the person responsible to justice.
“The investigation team interviewed several witnesses, examined CCTV footage and carried out a wide range of other inquiries.
“Officers arrested two men in the weeks after the attack and interviewed both, but they were released without charge.
“We would urge anyone who has information relating to this incident to call police on 101.”