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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 20:09 GMT 21:09 UK
Abigail feels no anger - husband
Abigail's husband Benoit Witchalls
Benoit Witchalls said his wife Abigail did not seem too traumatised
The husband of stabbing victim Abigail Witchalls has said her attacker needs help and insisted both he and his wife felt no anger towards him.

Benoit Witchalls was speaking on the BBC's Crimewatch programme, which featured a reconstruction of the crime and an appeal for the public's help.

Mrs Witchalls, 26, was stabbed on 20 April in Little Bookham, Surrey.

Her husband said it would be "absolutely tragic if this was to happen again to somebody".

Mrs Witchalls was attacked with her 21-month-old son Joseph on a footpath near their home.

It's someone that's probably suffered in their lives and we've just got to see what we can as a society do to help them
Benoit Witchalls

In a statement released on Wednesday she said she had started to recover feeling in parts of her body.

Mrs Witchalls is being treated at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, north-west London, which specialises in spinal cord injuries.

In the interview on Crimewatch, Mr Witchalls, a 26-year-old engineer, was asked about his feelings for the attacker.

"We haven't really thought about it much," he said.

"You know life is just a lottery and this could so easily have happened, as it does to so many people, through a car accident or through some sort of illness."

Scene from the Crimewatch reconstruction
The Crimewatch appeal featured a reconstruction of the attack

He added: "Obviously whoever did it needs help and it would be absolutely tragic if this was to happen again to somebody."

Asked if he could appreciate that some people would find it remarkable he felt no anger, Mr Witchalls said: "Maybe it will come."

"At the moment it's just a case of it's obviously very sad, it's someone that's probably suffered in their lives and we've just got to see what we can as a society do to help them."

Mr Witchalls said he thought his wife felt the same way, insisting: "She didn't seem to be too traumatised by it.

"Obviously she has been thinking 'why did this happen, why am I suffering like this?'

'Blessed and lucky'

"But she hasn't communicated to me 'who is this person that did this to me because I really want to strangle them or whatever'."

He said the family felt "blessed and lucky" that she had not been killed.

"It may well be that she's going to be paralysed from the neck down for life but people live wonderful lives paralysed from the neck down.

Abigail Witchalls with her son Joseph
Mrs Witchalls said his wife was relieved Joseph was safe

"Our expectations have had to change drastically in the last three weeks, but that's not to say that we're not still going to live peaceful lives, with a family."

Mr Witchalls said his wife had told him she was relieved Joseph had emerged unhurt from the attack, in which a knife was held to his throat.

He said Joseph was eating and sleeping well and "still making a fuss about the same old things and he's still very much himself as I knew him a month ago."

Surrey Police have received more than 700 calls about the case and said they were following up a number of lines of inquiry.

One possible suspect, 23-year-old Richard Cazaly, who lived near the attack scene, died on 30 April from an apparent overdose, having driven to Scotland.

Another man, aged 25, was arrested in Croydon, south London, a week after the attack and released two days later pending further forensic tests.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See part of Benoit Witchalls' Crimewatch interview



SEE ALSO:
Feeling is returning says Abigail
18 May 05 |  Southern Counties
Abigail suspect's knives examined
13 May 05 |  Southern Counties
Abigail police in Australia quiz
12 May 05 |  Southern Counties
Abigail family mourn grandmother
09 May 05 |  Southern Counties
Abigail inquiry suspect released
29 Apr 05 |  England
Knife held against Abigail's son
26 Apr 05 |  Southern Counties


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