A 48-year-old croupier was stabbed by a client who is said to have a grudge against casinos. The dealer almost obtained a fatal wound, since the knife used was so close to penetrating his heart.
“I was two millimetres from death,” David Downes told Evening Standard on Monday. “It was like the movies. You see a little bit of blood on your shirt, which turns into a pool. That’s when I realized I’d been stabbed and the knife wasn’t fake.”
The suspect, identified as 35-year-old Kien Ngyun, used an 8-inch blade in attacking the Empire Casino employee. The agitated customer reportedly pounced on the victim, piercing the sac of Downes’ heart but failed to injure the vital organ.
According to Downes, he quickly made his way to the reception moments after getting stabbed in the chest. “I knew I had to make my way to the reception fast to raise the alarm. I kept thinking, ‘I hope they get here quick, this isn’t looking great for me,’” the victim said.
Ngyun randomly attacked other people after stabbing Downes. He targeted people who got in his way. Fortunately, Downes’s colleagues managed to corner the suspect with the use of chairs until police arrived.
The incident happened last July at the Empire Casino in Leicester Square. At the time, Downes, who hails from South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. The father of one spent six days at the facility.
Despite recovering from the physical wound, the gambling staff member was unable to return to his job. Downes is currently receiving therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.
On the other hand, Ngyun was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act. He pleaded guilty to possession of offensive weapon and grievous bodily harm. Based on court documents, Ngyun’s hatred of casinos stemmed from his belief that the gambling establishments stole money from “his people.”
During last week’s court session, it was revealed that Ngyun had written a note that casino staff should all die. He also indicated in the same note that he was thinking of taking over casinos, so he could give money to charity.
Judge Michael Gledhill QC said that if Ngyun weren’t mentally deranged, he would have been given a life sentence. The judge also noted that it’s amazing how Downes managed to survive the “vicious attack.”