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I thought I was done for'

PUBLISHED: 12:28 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 10:23 23 August 2010

BLADE: Detective constable Neil Ratcliffe with the sword.

BLADE: Detective constable Neil Ratcliffe with the sword.

A SECURITY guard who needed 68 stitches to his hand after a top Kabaddi official sliced him with a sword thought he would be killed in the attack. Roy Connolly, 35, of Hawley Road, Dartford, was targeted while working as a security guard at a tournament

A SECURITY guard who needed 68 stitches to his hand after a top Kabaddi official sliced him with a sword thought he would be killed in the attack.

Roy Connolly, 35, of Hawley Road, Dartford, was targeted while working as a security guard at a tournament at the new Gurdwara site on Trinity Road, Gravesend in May 2007.

On Monday his attacker Jaswinder Singh Sahota, 51, of West Bromwich, West Midlands, appeared at Maidstone Crown Court and was jailed for 18 months.

The president of the National Federation of Kabaddi lunged at him with a ceremonial sword he was due to present at the event after being driven to the site by a chauffeur.

Mr Connolly said: "He was driven up to the gate and just got out of the car and shouted 'open that f**king gate!' He then unsheathed a samurai sword and started waving it around his head. I had to step back out of his way but he still came at me with it.

"I had no choice but to grab it or take it in the chest. I acted purely on instinct and I didn't have time to do anything else. I thought I was going to be killed. The sword was three-and-a-half feet long.

"It was quite a scary thing to have coming at you."

While he was gripping the blade a colleague came to his aid and together they wrestled Sahota to the ground and waited for the police.

The security guard needed 68 stitches in his hand and spent five-and-a-half hours in hospital having surgery.

Eighteen months on from the attack he is still unable to move his hand fully and has no feeling in his ring and index fingers. He has since returned to work. Sahota pleaded guilty to one count of grievous bodily harm at an earlier hearing on December 1 last year. Mr Connolly added: "I'm happy with the sentence, it could have been a bit longer but I am happy it is a custodial sentence."

Kabaddi is a form of the playground game "tag", played on a rectangular field, combining elements of rugby and wrestling.

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