A BRAVE man has spoken out about being stabbed in the back by two thugs for defending his girlfriend.

Jayson Hurrell, 28, is hoping sharing his story will raise awareness about the dangers of knife crime which he says is becoming a “serious problem” in Southend.

Mr Hurrell was out in the town with his girlfriend when they were targeted by two men at a takeaway in Clifftown Road, last Wednesday.

The retail worker said: “We were just trying to get a kebab after we had been out and these two guys started saying nasty things to my girlfriend. Because she’s Thai they were calling her a ladyboy and asking her how much she charged.

“The shop owner kicked them out and had to go outside to stop them coming back so I went out to help him.

“That’s when this big guy punched me in the face and broke my nose. I fell to the floor and I think that is when the smaller guy ran round and stabbed me in the back. I didn’t realise at the time – I didn’t even feel it.

“But after they ran off, we went back into the takeaway and my girlfriend noticed my back was wet and there was a lot of blood.

“She was really upset and trying to stop the bleeding.

“She took a picture of the wound and showed me and I thought I was going to die.

“That’s when I felt faint and collapsed and I don’t remember much after that until I was in hospital.”

Jayson was rushed to hospital where he received stitches and was told he was lucky to be alive as the knife had only just avoided his kidneys.

Two men have since been arrested and, while an 18-year-old has been released without charge, a 33-year-old man has been released on bail until December 19.

Jayson said the attack has left him traumatised.

He added: “I am still in shock and my girlfriend is trying to stay strong. We were not expecting to be attacked like that that night.

“I am quite scared to leave the house now unless it’s for work but my manager has said I need to take time off.

“I feel like I have been left traumatised - I’m more aware of everything around me.

“When I do go out, I keep thinking ‘I wonder if he’s got a knife’ because of what happened. At the time, I didn’t really think about my actions. I just reacted and wanted to protect my girlfriend.

“But knife crime just seems to be everywhere in Southend. Four years ago, my good friend Hassan Ibrahim was murdered and nothing seems to have changed – it’s seems it’s only a matter of time before you get stabbed.

“Nobody is listening but this is just proof that knives are so destructive and something needs to be done.

“I think it will be a while before I go out in the town centre again because I just don’t feel it is safe anymore.”

If you have information, contact Essex Police on 101 quoting incident 0010 of 29.