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Survivors With Denise Welch: Woman Recalls Narrowly Escaping Death After Being Stabbed By Stranger In Street

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Survivors With Denise Welch: Woman Recalls Narrowly Escaping Death After Being Stabbed By Stranger In Street

Denise Welch's new show, Survivors With Denise Welch, kicks off by exploring the gut-wrenching true crime story of Kayleigh White.

Kayleigh was just 17 years old when she was stabbed on the streets of Yeovil, Somerset back in 2015.

In the Loose Women star's documentary series, which will air on Crime+Investigation in mid-April, Kayleigh recalls how she was on the three-minute journey to her best friend, Liv's house when a complete stranger grabbed her and plunged a knife into her.

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"I was just walking up the road, it was only like a three minute walk if that, and I see three guys stood together having an argument, and I just saw this big blue arm come across my chest and pull me tight," she says.

"I immediately knew who it was because of the blue - I'd just seen him two minutes ago. I just felt like I'd been hugged, he just pulled me in.

"He whispered in my ear 'are you alright?, I was about to reply but I felt this really quick in and out in my back."

As fight-or-flight kicked in, Kayleigh somehow managed to get up off the floor and run to her friend's house, a few doors down, before beginning to bleed out in her garden.

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"The knife went through my kidney and essentially split it in half, snipped off the end of my pancreas and my spleen, and pierced the back of my stomach," she recalls, describing the weapon as "almost like a bread knife".

Kayleigh was just 17 when she was stabbed by the stranger (Credit: Crime+Investigation)
Kayleigh was just 17 when she was stabbed by the stranger (Credit: Crime+Investigation)

Had it not been for Liv's brother's friends, who appeared in a car by chance, and took her to the hospital, she would have died on the lawn.

As the car whisked her off, somebody who was with Kayleigh managed to get a picture of her attacker - later named as 31-year-old Lee Jeffries-Jones - who was standing in the street, still holding the knife he had used to stab her.

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Little did they know, this was only the start of his stabbing spree, and he went on to attack a mother washing her car, stabbing her in the arm. He also attempted to stab a dad putting his baby into a car seat, however, luckily, the man managed to overpower him, and detain him.

When she arrived in hospital, Kayleigh was given a one per cent chance of surviving, and even talks of how she made peace with dying once her mum had made it to her bedside.

Kayleigh speaks to Denise in the documentary (Credit: Crime+Investigation)
Kayleigh speaks to Denise in the documentary (Credit: Crime+Investigation)

"I screamed at them to let me die. At this point, I told them I've done what I needed to do, I've spoken to my mum, just let me go, I don't wanna feel this pain any more. That was it for me," she tells Denise.

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"I squeezed my mum... squeezed her hand and they put me to sleep."

Remarkably, Kayleigh woke from the operation which took over 10 hours and left her with 40 staples in her body, despite the odds being against her. She says that even she didn't believe it when she gained consciousness, asking a nurse in the hospital if she was an angel.

She was then given an emergency blood transfusion, and had to spend months in hospital, but ultimately survived.

Kayleigh in intensive care (Credit: Crime+Investigation)
Kayleigh in intensive care (Credit: Crime+Investigation)
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However, Kayleigh also speaks in the doc about how her life will be forever altered as a result of the attack.

Once home, she became addicted to the prescribed opioid Tapentadol, which she had been taking for the pain.

Kayleigh also battled alcohol dependency, and was left with severe PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder in the wake of the ordeal. She tells how things were so bad she had to hold her mother's hand every time she left the house, for up to 18 months.

Prior to her attack Kayleigh had hopes of becoming a police officer and planned to study forensics, but her experience also altered this plan, as she was not mentally fit for the job.

"I don't recognise the person that I was when I was so deep into the addiction," she says in the doc. "It was tough."

Lee Jeffries-Jones is currently in jail for his crimes (Credit: Avon & Somerset Police)
Lee Jeffries-Jones is currently in jail for his crimes (Credit: Avon & Somerset Police)

"I still struggle with pain," she adds. "I was rejected from the police force due to what had happened to me. It wasn't my fault, I'd done what I needed to do, but because of what somebody else had done to me it changed my life".

On the 4th of February 2016, Lee Jeffries-Jones was jailed for 20 years at Taunton Crown Court. He pleaded guilty to attempted murder for Kayleigh's attack and two other counts of wounding with intent, meaning he won't be eligible for parole until 2026.

Unbelievably, Kayleigh says she still forgives her attacker for what he's done and even told him so in court.

She also adds that she still has hopes of being a police officer one day.

Denise speaks to various survivors including Kayleigh (left picture) (Credit: Crime+Investigation)
Denise speaks to various survivors including Kayleigh (left picture) (Credit: Crime+Investigation)

You can hear Kayleigh's full story on Survivors with Denise Welch. The six part series will also feature the story of Sammy Woodhouse, who is a victim of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal, and Bethany Merchant, a domestic abuse survivor, who was attacked for hours by her partner at the age of 24.

Other interviewees include Christopher Spry, Adele Bellis and Tony Hannington.

Survivors with Denise Welch premieres on CRIME+INVESTIGATION on Monday 19th April at 9pm.

Featured Image Credit: Crime+Investigation

Topics: True Crime, TV News, TV Entertainment

Joanna Freedman
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