Partner of gay man knifed to death talks to your Times
PUBLISHED: 09:23 17 December 2009 | UPDATED: 09:27 12 August 2010
IT WAS like being brought back from the dead - everything was from scratch like a child, absolutely everything. It took ages to recognise my family. These are the words of Chris Bevan who is still recovering from his attempted murder by an alcoholic wh
IT WAS like being brought back from the dead - everything was from scratch like a child, absolutely everything. It took ages to recognise my family."
These are the words of Chris Bevan who is still recovering from his attempted murder by an alcoholic who attacked him and his partner in their home nine months ago.
He was stabbed by David Kilcullen several times with a knife and a broken bottle on March 3 this year leaving him with horrific injuries that has changed his life forever.
His partner of 18 years, Gerry Edwards who had shown pity to Kilcullen was killed with a fatal stab wound to the heart during the attack at their home in Page Heath Villas, Bickley.
Violent Kilcullen, 46, who according to his own lawyer lived in a 'dark, half world' of hopelessness and alcoholism, was found guilty of the murder of the frail, HIV positive 59-year-old and attempted murder of nurse Mr Bevan at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.
Speaking to the Times, the softly-spoken healthcare worker said: "That night is still very vivid in my mind.
"My life has changed completely. I can't get out of bed sometimes. It was totally life changing."
It is believed Kilcullen, of The Avenue, Bickley, went to Mr Edwards' house to rob him thinking he lived alone but Mr Bevan, who was due to be in work that evening, surprised the attacker after coming down the stairs and interrupting the assault.
Mr Edwards' acquaintance with Kilcullen was a relationship borne out of pity.
Mr Bevan said his partner felt sorry for the alcoholic who lived in a 'freezing cold' bedsit and drank upwards of 15 cans of strong cider per day. The retired trade unionist had let Kilcullen in their home and drank coffee with him on several occasions.
Speaking barely louder than a whisper, the 56-year-old admitted he does think about the 'what ifs?'
What if he had gone to work that night as he should have?
What if his partner had not struck up acquaintance with Kilcullen, who Mr Bevan described as 'rough and dodgy'?
He said: "I did say to Gerry 'why are you having this person in here?' I try to move on. There's nothing I could have done against that man.
"I'm not even sure how I'm going to cope on my own. I hope to move back to Page Heath Villas. I need to be where Gerry was."
Remembering the partner he met some 20 years ago when he lived in Brighton, Mr Bevan said: "He was a very kind and generous person. He was always helping people which is why he's dead today.
"It's getting easier to talk about him. I will remember his fondness of people, his determination to do the right thing. He was always for the underdog."
Mr Bevan, one of five brothers, now lives in one room in a brain rehabilitation unit in Blackheath. He spent seven weeks at Kings College Hospital, Camberwell and more than two months at the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, where he previously worked.
He described the effect of his injuries in an impact statement in court which read: "I had to have my spleen removed and I am now prone to infections.
"I therefore have to take antibiotics for the rest of my life. My ribs hurt all the time. I have pains in my stomach constantly. I find it very difficult to go to the toilet, even to urinate is an effort.
"My hearing is impaired, and I can't hear myself speak. My hearing sounds as though I am constantly swimming under water. My throat is also affected as a result of the attack, and I am therefore no longer to talk as loudly as I did.
"I have pressure ulcers on the soles of my feet as a result of being in intensive care for so long, which can make it difficult and sore to walk. I feel as though I now have sinus problems. I have constant headaches; migraines which make me feel sick.
"My eyesight is now failing. The attack has also affected my short term memory. I have lost a considerable amount of weight. Since this all happened I have such difficulty sleeping, and now suffer from insomnia. My lack of sleep doesn't help, and I find it difficult sometimes to function."
Kilcullen, who could face up to 30 years in jail for his heinous and unprovoked assault, was due to be sentenced as the Times went to press.
Mr Bevan said: "Nothing moves on for me. Why should he be spared like this? I hope this man will never get the chance to do this injury to anybody ever again. He should be taken off the streets and locked away for the rest of his natural life. Then I can try and get on with my life."
The 56-year-old praised the support from his former colleagues and family who he said had been 'tremendous'.
For the first time during the interview, a smile crossed his lips at the suggestion of one day returning to work. He added: "That would be an absolute dream.