Stab victim waited ‘too long’ for ambulance

Parkmore Murder victim Davy Neill. INPT38-209
Parkmore Murder victim Davy Neill. INPT38-209
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EIGHTEEN minutes 14 seconds - that is how long stab victim Davy Neill had to wait for an ambulance as he lay dying from a stab wound in the early hours of Sunday morning.

While the 46-year-old was bleeding profusely from a torso wound, neighbours, friends and family tried in vain to help stem the blood flow.

The distraught family and their Parkmore neighbours are furious at the Ambulance Service with one claiming Mr Neill may have survived if the crew had arrived more promptly.

It has since emerged that no ambulance was initially available in the Craigavon area, and an alternative vehicle had to be despatched from Armagh.

A statement from NI Ambulance Service spokesman John McPoland said they received an emergency call reporting a stabbing in Craigavon on Sunday at approximately 12.44am.

“The nearest available resource was immediately despatched to the call, responding from Armagh as all other vehicles in the Craigavon area were engaged on emergency activity,” he said.

“However when one of these crews became available and was in a position to provide a quicker response, they were asked to respond to the scene of the stabbing, arriving at approximately 01:03. NIAS response time to this incident was 18 minutes, 14 seconds,” he said.

Parkmore is just several minutes’ drive from Craigavon Hospital where the Ambulance depot is based.

One resident said the police took 20 minutes to arrive and immediately started to tend to the father-of-two. And he claimed an ambulance arrived 10 minutes after the police.

Mr Neill was attacked close to his front door at around 12.30am on Sunday morning.

Several neighbours in the Parkmore area who had been on the scene when Davy was stabbed were also furious at the time it took for the ambulance to arrive.

“If I had known it was going to take that long for an ambulance I would have taken him in a taxi,” said one resident.

Police detained a 17-year-old man in the area late on Sunday in connection with the attack.

Three men, aged 20, 27 and 36, are also still being questioned.

David’s daughter Kirsty Cahoon who was with her father when he was fighting for his life said 18 minutes was far too long to wait.

The 19-year-old said she was becoming more and more angry at the late response wof the ambulance and believes if they had been there sooner her father may have survived.

“I’m really angry at the ambulance service. 18 minutes is far too long,” she said.

And she is also angry with the police service who she believes could have done more to protect her father and her family.

She is particularly upset at the long delay in the release of her father’s body and the lack of information from the PSNI.

The family were still waiting on information from the police about the release of Mr Neill’s body at lunchtime on Wednesday - three days after he was murdered.

The statement from the Ambulance service concluded: “NIAS understands that the family of the deceased may be unhappy with our response to this incident and would be keen to address their concerns through our complaints procedure which can be accessed by contacting Complaints Manager; NIAS HQ; Knockbracken Healthcare Park; Saintfield Road; Belfast; BT8 8SG or by phone at 028 9040 0999. Local officers can be made available to discuss the issue with the family.”