THE father of a young boy stabbed by a murderer who went on the rampage in a Yorkshire town has told how the trauma of the attack has damaged his son’s confidence and made him anxious about going outside to play.
Jason D’Arcy was nine when he was set upon at a skate park in Shipley this summer by Nathaniel Flynn, who hours earlier had murdered his own 84-year-old grandmother Louisa Denby in a “brutal and frenzied attack” at their home.
He needed emergency surgery after being stabbed in the arm as he tried to defend himself from a blow aimed at his chest and police say it was “only through sheer luck” that he was not murdered.
Flynn, 26, who was born in the UK but spent most of his life in the United States, faces a life sentence after admitting murder and attempted murder at a hearing at Bradford Crown Court earlier this month.
Speaking publicly about the ordeal for the first time since the hearing, Jason’s father Lee D’Arcy said he and his family were trying to move on from the attack on July 1 but that his son, now 10, was still showing signs of being affected five months on.
The 41-year-old precision engineer said: “He is doing fine. He is still rather nervous, he is not playing out like he used to.
“He has got less motion in his little finger and the next one along. It probably won’t come back. He is young and the best chance of healing is when you are young but it will never feel normal.
“The stab wound to his chest has healed up lovely. He has a very large scar on his arm, they re-attached the tendons and nerves and had to open up his arm to operate. The main thing is that he is still with us.
“He was the sort of boy who used to come home from school, throw his bag on the floor and go out to the skate park but that has stopped now.
“He has lost a considerable amount of confidence. He is wary of strangers, he makes excuses not to go out now, we are working on that.
“The school is helping to monitor him and we have stuff in place to keep an eye on his psychological welfare. We are taking it one day at a time, that is all we can do.”
Jason, who has two older sisters, suffered what were feared to be life-threatening injuries after being attacked at the Carnegie skate park at Windhill recreation ground but was able to stagger back to his father’s house.
Speaking about the day of the attack, Mr D’Arcy said: “It is a parent’s worst nightmare. It was just shock at first, I couldn’t believe what he was saying.
“He came flying through the back door and told me he had been stabbed. I came running down the steps and he collapsed, that was when the panic really set in. I was by myself at the time, I was trying to stop the bleeding as best I could and I didn’t have enough hands. I thought if I let go of him he would bleed to death. It was the scariest moment of my life.”
Flynn, of Prospect Mount, Shipley, has given no explanation of why he killed his “loving and kind” grandmother.
Shortly after the attack on Jason on July 1, Flynn tried to entice an eight-year-old girl from her garden where she was playing and later assaulted a 59-year-old man outside his home.
Speaking after the court hearing last week, Detective Chief Inspector Nick Wallen, of West Yorkshire Police, said he spent the day between attacks wandering around the local area and hiding in the surrounding countryside.
Mr D’Arcy said: “I don’t waste much of my time thinking about (Flynn) at all. He has not put any explanation as to why he did it but as far as Jason is concerned there is no explanation that could justify what happened.
“He was innocently walking home and was attacked by a maniac. All my emotions and thoughts have been going into Jason.”