Eighteen seconds. That’s all it took for James Porritt’s world to be irrevocably modified in a method that he nonetheless struggles to understand. That’s the timeframe by which the 42-year-old enterprise marketing consultant was savagely attacked within the packed carriage of a London Underground prepare by a person wielding a machete who had picked him completely at random.

‘This isn’t a terror assault,’ the assailant instructed terrified onlookers. ‘I need solely him.’

What adopted subsequent was an onslaught of extraordinary savagery: as James tried to flee for his life, the attacker — 35-year-old Ricky Morgan — hunted him down, slashing at his head, fingers, elbow and legs.

That James survived in any respect is nothing short of a miracle: the few seconds of safety footage from the incident launched to the general public present scenes akin to a horror movie. ‘After I noticed the footage, all I might suppose was how the hell I walked away from it,’ says James at present. ‘I do know I’m fortunate to be alive.’

James Porritt, 41, was on his way to work on the Jubilee Line between Green Park and Bond Street when Ricky Morgan, 34, (pictured) launched the horrific attack on July 9 2021

James Porritt, 41, was on his option to work on the Jubilee Line between Inexperienced Park and Bond Road when Ricky Morgan, 34, (pictured) launched the horrific assault on July 9 2021

The influence has nonetheless been catastrophic: alongside bone-deep cuts to his head and shin, James’s proper and as soon as dominant hand was so severely injured that it’s of little use now.

‘I can’t gown myself, I’ve to eat from a bowl with my left hand, I’ve had to surrender my driving licence and I’m now registered disabled,’ he says quietly.

‘I can’t even maintain my girlfriend’s hand because it hurts an excessive amount of. All the essential issues I used to take without any consideration I can now not do.’

The psychological scars are equally brutal: James suffers seizures, nightmares and flashbacks, and wrestles surges of uncontrollable anger which have taken a toll on all his relationships. At occasions he has discovered himself so overwhelmed by his ordeal that he has contemplated taking his personal life.

It is just now, 15 months on and after a courtroom case which noticed Morgan, a schizophrenic with a historical past of drug and alcohol points, jailed for all times, that James feels capable of inform his story in full for the primary time.

It’s removed from simple for him. Regardless of in depth remedy, he has struggled to come back to phrases with how an peculiar businessman could possibly be focused with such savagery for no motive in any respect.

James Porritt (pictured) said trains delays forced him to take a different route on that horrific day in July last year

James Porritt (pictured) stated trains delays compelled him to take a distinct route on that horrific day in July final yr

‘I solely realized a lot in a while that Morgan had been traversing the Underground community for 3 weeks previous to his assault on me, armed together with his machete and a bottle of vodka,’ he says. ‘He didn’t assault anybody after which swiftly the fireplace was lit — increase —and I used to be that individual. It’s everybody’s nightmare, isn’t it?’

A likeable soul from East London, James grew up the eldest of 4 youngsters in a close-knit household. Six months earlier than the assault he had launched into a brand new relationship together with his girlfriend, who works in enterprise improvement and has requested to not be named.

The romance was going nicely and on the day of the assault, James had organized to satisfy her collectively together with her father in West London to rejoice the latter’s birthday.

Prepare delays compelled James to take a distinct route on that heat Friday night in July final yr.

It was a ‘sliding doorways’ second that positioned him in the identical carriage similtaneously Morgan.

James stood towards one of many cushioned lean-to rests close to the door of a westbound Jubilee line service filled with commuters heading house.

‘The doorways had been closing when the person I now know to be my attacker bought on,’ he recollects. ‘A couple of seconds later he wouldn’t have made it.’

Preoccupied as he was with making his dinner appointment on time, James barely registered the thick-set man carrying glasses with a rucksack, who stood beside him earlier than taking a free seat on the subsequent cease.

‘I keep in mind glancing over and we locked eyes for a second, however that’s all.’

But this fleeting interplay had sealed his destiny. ‘He’d already singled me out,’ he says. ‘I came upon in courtroom that Morgan thought I used to be there with another person, that I used to be having a dialog with them and on this imaginary dialog I had stated: “Give it 20 seconds after which we’ll have him”.’ Because the prepare departed Inexperienced Park station, Morgan leapt as much as start his assault, pulling the machete out of his bag.

Morgan (pictured) was jailed for life in September after he attacked Mr Porritt in front of terrified commuters

Morgan (pictured) was jailed for all times in September after he attacked Mr Porritt in entrance of terrified commuters 

His actions had been captured on safety digital camera footage which James says can’t correctly convey the panic, horror, confusion and sheer terror of what unfolded.

‘All of it occurred so quick,’ James says, shaking his head, recalling the way it took him just a few seconds to register he was underneath assault. ‘I heard passengers screaming and will really feel blows raining down on my head, however I wasn’t in ache at first,’ he says. ‘I hold questioning how I didn’t really feel it. I can solely think about it was adrenaline.’

Appearing on intuition, James put first his left hand then his proper over his head to attempt to shield himself. ‘He reduce the tip of my thumb off, then I put my proper hand up and he was hacking away by the flesh, the nerves, the tendon and the bone on the palm. My little finger was hanging off.

‘I keep in mind begging him to cease, I simply didn’t perceive what was taking place, however I genuinely thought he was going to kill me. He simply wouldn’t cease,’ he recollects.

A map showing the distance between Bond Street and Green Park Tube Stations in London

A map exhibiting the gap between Bond Road and Inexperienced Park Tube Stations in London 

In the meantime, throughout was chaos: a stampede of screaming passengers, working by swimming pools of James’s blood.

‘I assumed all of it occurred in a single place, however footage reveals he was really chasing me by the carriage,’ James says. ‘At one level I fell backwards into a gaggle of individuals, I used to be on prime of them, and he began to hack at my shin.’

Have been it not for the actions of 1 courageous unidentified passenger, James is satisfied he would have been hacked to loss of life. ‘The person began working in the direction of us, successfully between us. I don’t know what possessed him, however he saved my life as a result of it distracted Morgan sufficient to offer me time to run — though how I ran I don’t know, as my leg was nearly ineffective.’

Morgan then pursued him by two carriages, the place at one stage, two different heroic passengers intervened to attempt to calm him down. ‘They had been extremely courageous and principally they purchased me time,’ says James.

It allowed James to make it to the ultimate carriage earlier than the driving force’s compartment, the place quick-thinking passengers shut the connecting door and barricaded it with baggage as James collapsed to the ground.

By now the prepare was at a standstill: somebody had pressed the emergency button, bringing the prepare to a screeching halt between Inexperienced Park and Bond Road stations. An off-duty physician within the carriage did his finest to stem the blood streaming from James’s wounds — as a maniacal Morgan continued to thrust his machete by the window of the connecting door.

‘He was pointing at me and stated once more: “I don’t need any of you, I simply need him. I wish to kill him as a result of he tried to kill me.” He didn’t look human,’ James recollects. ‘It was completely terrifying.’

Armed police in Bond Street following the attack last July. Morgan, who had been smoking cannabis since he was 12, claimed he had been hearing 'voices of his enemies' before the attack

Armed police in Bond Road following the assault final July. Morgan, who had been smoking hashish since he was 12, claimed he had been listening to ‘voices of his enemies’ earlier than the assault

It will be one other heart-stopping half-hour earlier than armed British Transport Law enforcement officials boarded, arriving from one other prepare pulling up alongside.

Morgan was pacing up and down the neighbouring carriage.

‘He didn’t resist arrest,’ James recollects. ‘He put the machete on the ground and stated: “If I’d have identified it was going to be a lot hassle I wouldn’t have bothered”.’

By now James was in phenomenal ache, nonetheless bleeding profusely from his a number of accidents. ‘It felt like I used to be there for hours, however ultimately the prepare began once more and drew into Bond Road, the place paramedics boarded with a wheelchair,’ he says. ‘I used to be carried into an ambulance after which I used to be knocked out [by medication] and I don’t keep in mind a lot else.’

He was taken to St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, the place surgeons fought for 12 hours to avoid wasting his proper hand and patch him up. Due to Covid restrictions, his associate waited within the hospital automobile park, not understanding if he was lifeless or alive.

‘I had about 140 stitches,’ James says. ‘Nineteen on my head, 16 on my elbow; one other 16 on my shin; 34 on my left thumb after which round 56 stitches on my proper hand; they needed to put wires inside to maintain my hand collectively. The ache was out of this world, like my proper hand was caught in a vice with a thousand razor blades.’

He spent an extra week in hospital earlier than being discharged with a cocktail of painkillers. His thoughts was removed from repaired although and securing even just a few counselling periods was a battle. ‘It felt like I needed to struggle to get even essentially the most primary assist,’ he says. He additionally needed to take care of the lingering suspicion of police that the horrific assault is likely to be gang-related.

Certainly, refuting the notion that there was any motive for the assault is among the issues he has discovered among the many most troublesome.

‘Lots of people have that query — that I should have identified him,’ he says. ‘It’s extremely exhausting when it was simply horrible dangerous luck.’

The troublesome months following the assault had been additionally compounded by the prospect of the approaching courtroom case. At his first remand listening to Morgan, who had been charged with tried homicide, pleaded not responsible on the grounds of madness.

James had given a witness assertion to the Crown Prosecution Service so wasn’t required to attend Morgan’s subsequent trial on the Previous Bailey in Might this yr.

However he says: ‘I used to be so indignant I felt I needed to go for my very own therapeutic. I needed to look him within the eye.’

At first, Morgan denied him this, refusing to have a look at him, though courtroom proceedings did, at the very least, reveal Morgan’s background: a grim and all-too-familiar litany of household dysfunction, psychological sickness and drug abuse.

The product of a damaged house, Morgan had been positioned in care on the age of 12, and by 20 was already a daily consumer of medicine together with hashish and crack cocaine.

He was additionally no stranger to the felony justice system, with 26 convictions to his identify, together with one for assaulting a police officer. He had been homeless after being launched from his newest stint in jail in March 2020.

‘He had principally been left to wander the streets,’ says James.

Morgan was discovered responsible after a five-day trial, when he was given life — with a minimal of 16 years in jail — by Decide John Hillen for his ‘ferocious’ assault. ‘I believe it’s not too sensationalist or overdramatic to say this was each traveller’s nightmare,’ he instructed him.

James gave a sufferer influence assertion, by which he described the legacy of ache and misery his actions had brought about.

It was throughout this time that, lastly, he locked eyes with Morgan once more. ‘For a second I needed to step again as a result of I might really feel the anger eat me,’ he says. ‘However then after I regarded once more he simply appeared misplaced. It was weird. I felt the anger drain away.’

In the present day, James stays ambivalent in the direction of the person who, it’s not an exaggeration to say, destroyed the life that he had as soon as identified. ‘I don’t know but whether or not I can forgive him, however I do know he didn’t stand a lot likelihood,’ he says.

The care system that ought to have recognised Morgan as a hazard to the general public is ‘damaged’ and ‘one thing wants to alter in order that others don’t should undergo what I’ve’, he says.

That ordeal continues. ‘I’m nonetheless a piece in progress,’ he says. ‘I’m extremely anxious and hypersensitive. Any time there’s somebody with a rucksack I’m alert.

‘I don’t really feel protected in my native space, I simply wish to go to a forest, someplace away from individuals.’ Solely the help of his household, girlfriend and shut buddies has helped him by.

‘I’ve struggled to take care of my feelings,’ he admits. ‘It’s been robust on everybody round me, notably my girlfriend.’

For all that, he’s decided that his story is seen as one in all hope.

‘I’ve been by one of many worst issues you possibly can undergo and I’m nonetheless right here,’ he says.

‘It’s superb what the human spirit can survive.’