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Leeds teacher fighting for life after stabbing in Poland

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  • by Sam Casey
 

A teacher from Leeds who was working in Poland is fighting for life after being repeatedly stabbed at a Christmas party.

Father-of-one Steven Johnson, originally from Tinshill, is critically ill in a hospital in Warsaw after the unprovoked attack.

He was one of four colleagues who were knifed during a flat party when several men burst in shortly after neighbours had complained about the noise.

One man, a Polish friend of 40-year-old Mr Johnson, died. Polish police have arrested three people after the incident last Sunday.

Mr Johnson’s brother David, who returned from Poland on Thursday after visiting his hospital bedside with their mother Linda, said: “At the moment it doesn’t feel real, I haven’t been able to grasp the reality of it.

“I’m heartbroken. It was his dream to travel and to teach.”

Mr Johnson, who grew up in Leeds and attended Abbey Grange and Ralph Thoresby schools, moved to Poland in 2010 to teach English. He has a six-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

His brother said he lived an “idyllic” life in the middle of a forest overlooking a lake.

According to reports in Poland, neighbours went round to the flat where the party was taking place at about 9pm to ask the group to be quiet.

David Johnson said: “It’s not 100 per cent clear what happened after that but later the neighbours came back and stabbed them. One person managed to get away, one man died on the spot.”

He said he only found out after he was contacted on Facebook the following day by someone who had heard about the incident.

After enlisting the help of a Polish friend to make calls to Warsaw, he found out which hospital his brother was in and he flew out with his mother on Wednesday.

“He was on life support,” Mr Johnson said. “My mum was in pieces. She leaned over him and started crying. You can’t explain the emotion.”

Mr Johnson was stabbed three times in the stomach. He remains unconscious in hospital and has a potentially fatal infection.

David Johnson said it was “touch and go” whether he would survive.

The Foreign Office said it was providing consular assistance to the family.

 
 
 

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