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'Like scene from horror film' - hero saved farmer's life after attack

A HERO has told how he saved the life of a farmer whose arm had almost been severed in an attack.

Heavy goods driver Gary Watkinson, 50, described how a Sunday morning turned into a “scene from a horror film” when he saw Trevor Coates with blood spurting from his arm near his home.

The man who had just attacked Mr Coates, Stephen Phillip Lionel Harpin, 70, of Walmer Carr, Wigginton, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent at York Crown Court on Friday.

Recorder Simon Kealey ordered a psychiatric report to be prepared on Harpin as well as a probation services report.

“You should understand this is a most serious matter and will inevitably result in a lengthy custodial sentence,” the judge told him.

Harpin was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on February 17.

The Northern Echo: Police at the crime scene near Wigginton last July

Mr Coates was baling hay in the field behind Mr Watkinson’s home in Walmer Carr early on Sunday, July 18.

As Mr Watkinson prepared to go out on his motorbike, he heard the farmer banging on a neighbouring door.

“He was distressed,” said Mr Watkinson. “I walked from my lounge to the garden and jumped over the low back wall.

“He was holding his arm and the scene was like something out of a Tarantino movie - or a horror film - there was blood spurting out.”

Mr Coates had been attacked and had suffered a severed main artery, said Mr Watkinson.

“He said he was feeling faint so I told him to sit by the bale of hay.

“I called 999. I knew he needed a tourniquet on his arm. I tried to keep him conscious and took his jumper and used the sleeve to tie a half knot above the wound which stopped the bleeding.”

Then Mr Watkinson noticed blood pooling on the farmer’s shirt - and realised had been injured in the chest also.

“It was in the chest cavity wall, three inches below the left nipple,” he said. “I applied pressure to the wound until the emergency services arrived.”

Two other neighbours came to assist, one of whom was an off-duty police officer.

Paramedics arrived within 10 minutes and took over.

The Northern Echo: Police at the crime scene near Wigginton last July

On his release from hospital Mr Coates telephoned Mr Watkinson.

“He said ‘thanks for saving my life, if you hadn’t been there, I don’t know what I would have done’,” said Mr Watkinson, who works as a heavy goods driver for a machine works.

He said he had some First Aid training and was glad to be able to assist.

It is the second time he saved a life. In a restaurant, he managed to remove some food that had stuck in another diner’s throat and was making her choke.

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