A team of heroic paramedics have been praised after they saved the life of a stab victim who was minutes from death.
Emergency services were called to a flat in South Shields two days before Christmas last year after a man had been savagely beaten and stabbed by Michael Wilson.
In a fit of rage, the 30-year-old inflicted three knife wounds and punched the man, named in court as John Spedding, before kicking him down a flight of concrete stairs.
Wilson, of no fixed abode, was jailed for nine years after pleading guilty to wounding with intent on the basis he used excessive self-defence.
Police have now praised the ambulance staff who carried out an emergency thoracotomy close to the scene, which kept the victim alive.
Detective Sergeant Aidan Hall, of Northumbria Police, said: “There is little doubt that the victim of this horrific attack would have died had it not been for the outstanding actions of paramedics at the scene.
“We are proud to work hand-in-hand with all our blue light partners and this was an example of us all working together to not only ensure the victim survived, but ensure the person responsible is put behind bars.
“Michael Wilson is a dangerous individual who could so easily have been faced with a potential murder charge. His victim had to have open heart surgery and was hospitalised for a week.
“There is absolutely no place for violent criminals such as Wilson in our society and he now begins a long period behind bars.
“This type of violence will not be tolerated and we will continue to use every tactic at our disposal to put criminals who endanger the lives of others before the courts.”
The court heard the two men fell into dispute inside the Whiteleas Way flat following claims that the victim had made advances towards Wilson’s girlfriend.
Wilson then stabbed his victim three times, before pushing and kicking the injured man out of the address and into the street.
Paramedics carried out the life-saving procedure inside the ambulance before taking the victim to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) for surgery.
When he was arrested, Wilson claimed the victim “had tried to stab him” and his injuries were caused as a result of the violent struggle that ensued.
Paul Liversidge, deputy chief executive at North East Ambulance Service, said: “In the event of a major trauma, such as a stabbing, every second counts.
"As well as being able to call upon specialist trauma skills within our own service, we work closely with Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) to ensure we’re able to provide an enhanced clinical service to those patients who require it.
“In this instance, we were able to request the additional clinical skills of our GNAAS colleagues, which meant that together we were able to perform this life-saving procedure before arriving at hospital.”