A leading plastic surgeon was fighting for his life last night after being stabbed by a burglar he disturbed in his home.
Graeme Perks, 65, was woken by the sound of breaking glass just after 4am yesterday and went downstairs, where he was knifed in the chest and stomach. The intruder fled.
Residents said news of the attack at the Perks family’s £800,000 home, a former vicarage on the edge of the small affluent Nottinghamshire village of Halam, left them feeling violated.
Retired surgeon Graeme Perks is fighting for his life in hospital after the alleged stabbing
Police said the victim, 65, suffered puncture wounds to his abdomen and chest following the alleged attack in Halam, near Southwell, at around 4.15am today. Pictured: Police at the scene
Glenys Herbert, 80, a neighbour and church warden, described Mr Perks, who recently retired from full-time work, as a ‘lovely person’. She added: ‘The whole thing is just appalling. You would never in a million years expect something like this to happen here.
‘It is a very neighbourly village where everybody keeps an eye out for everyone else.
‘We are all just praying that Graeme pulls through. The whole village just feels violated. We are all completely shocked. The phones haven’t stopped ringing.
‘I just can’t believe it – does everybody carry a knife these days?’
Nottinghamshire Police said the break-in happened at the rear of the large detached property, which is on a hill. Last night they announced that a 55-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the incident.
Mrs Herbert said Mr Perks and wife Beverley, who have four children, have lived in the village for 30 years and open their garden to the public each summer as part of the National Garden Scheme.
Another neighbour, Graham Podmore, 50, said: ‘You couldn’t wish to meet a nicer, more mellow guy than Graeme. And he’s brilliant at what he does – he has been a leading surgeon in his field for many years.
‘I didn’t realise anything had happened until I read the news reports. We are all kind of cocooned in our houses at the moment with lockdown.’
It is understood the resident had gone to investigate the sound of breaking glass before being stabbed by the suspect, who then fled the scene. Pictured: Police at the scene
Mr Perks was taken to Nottingham’s Queens Medical Centre – part of the NHS Trust where he was based until retiring from full-time work in November – and underwent surgery.
He was in a serious condition last night. Although the surgeon completed his final NHS list two months ago, he had still been doing private work and ‘helping out a little bit’ in the NHS, a relative said.
Mr Perks remains listed as chairman of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons’ professional standards committee and is a past president of the organisation.
He has previously said his greatest pleasure is seeing his former trainees surpass him.
In 2010, Mr Perks was voted among the country’s top breast cancer and reconstructive surgeons in a Daily Mail survey of his peers.
Detective Inspector Gayle Hart of Nottinghamshire Police, who is leading the investigation, said: ‘This is a horrific incident which has left a man fighting for his life and his family who were upstairs at the time are extremely shocked and upset by the ordeal.
‘The victim is in the intensive care unit and is currently in a serious but stable condition.
‘Detectives are working hard to establish the circumstances. We’re continuing to make inquiries.
‘The swift arrest of this suspect we hope will provide some reassurance to local residents.’
A police officer stood guard outside Mr Perks’ home yesterday as white-suited forensics officers – one of them with a sniffer dog – entered and left.
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