Self-defence instructor protects children and street pastors outside Malmesbury Abbey during 'drunken' attack Featured

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published in Malmesbury Newspapers
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A SELF-DEFENCE instructor and former soldier came to the aid of a group of children and street pastors when two ‘drunken’ men attacked outside Malmesbury Abbey.

Mark Cane, 46, who lives near Burford and has practised Krav Maga for many years, was out with a friend yesterday evening, when they decided to cut through the Abbey grounds.

Mark – a veteran of the South African Defence Force and British Army – said they then came across a group of street pastors at about 7.15pm who were attempting to calm down two seemingly drunken young men.

“They were trying to talk to them, and had already called the police,” said Mark, who is an instructor for Combat Krav Maga.

“I said I would stand with them until the police arrived as they [the pastors] were only youngsters. But then it got messy,” he said.

One of the men became “aggressive” and “came at me” said Mark. “I put him on the ground and tried to calm him down.”

The second man then attacked and was restrained as well, said Mark, adding that the situation quickly escalated “out of control”.

Mark believes the two were brothers and were in their 20s – and having got free from restraint armed themselves with bottles.

Mark said a group of children around aged 13 passed through the churchyard, and one of the men “smashed the bottle and charged at the children”.

“I was just trying to get myself in between them and the children, to protect them,” he said, managing to kick the bottle away from the attacker.

However, he said the man took a piece of the broken glass and “stuck it in his own neck” – at which point Mark “dived on him” and jammed the glass into the floor.

With the paramedics then called, Mark said he used a piece of t-shirt to stop the bleeding.

“Members of the public helped restrain the men once I had disarmed them of their bottles, while we waited for police and ambulances to arrive,” he added.

A spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service confirmed that crews were called to Gloucester Street at 7.27pm yesterday and arrived at 7.40pm.

He said paramedics tended to a man with a neck injury and he was taken to Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

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