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Barbados has made headlines in England again – and for all the wrong reasons.
A visiting British couple, Professor James Bridges and his wife Olga, were brutally attacked by a knife-wielding intruder within minutes of arriving at their rented villa in the island’s north-western parish of St Peter.
Professor Bridges, who is Chairman of the European Commission’s Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks, was stabbed three times while his wife suffered seven stab wounds, including a punctured spleen and diaphragm, according to The Telegraph. The Daily Mail added that Dr Olga Bridges also sustained a fractured rib in the carnage.
Dr Bridges, 62, underwent emergency surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in Bridgetown where she was later said to be in a stable condition.
Speaking from the hospital, the 72-year-old professor described the “sheer terror” of being attacked soon after they arrived at the luxury West Coast beachfront villa where they had been scheduled to stay for two weeks.
“We had only just let ourselves into the villa. I was downstairs and my wife was upstairs. I heard screaming and rushed upstairs and saw her being stabbed by a masked man with a knife,” he said. “I tried to pull him off, but he just started stabbing me. It was awful, just terrifying.
“After he stabbed me he just went back to stabbing my wife who was lying on the floor,” the professor added.
Professor Bridges, who is one of the UK’s leading experts on toxicology, went on to say that as he and his wife lay wounded, the masked intruder demanded to know where their money was.
After searching their bedroom for cash, the attacker returned and continued to stab them.
“It was just sheer terror. I still have a picture in my mind of him standing over her and repeatedly stabbing her,” the professor said.
The couple, from Guildford in Surrey, had reportedly only been in the villa for about 40 minutes when the savage attack took place last Friday evening.
A spokesman for the Royal Barbados Police Force said a local man was being questioned over the attack, but declined to give any further details.
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed that a British couple had been attacked in Barbados and consular assistance had been offered.