4 Mar 2016

Shop owner fearful after brutal attack

7:08 am on 4 March 2016

The liquor store owner who was stabbed in the back outside his own store is too scared to go back to work, he says.

Sarabjit Singh

Sarabjit Singh in Middlemore Hospital. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Sarabjit Singh, 46, has been in Middlemore Hospital since he was attacked in Manurewa in Auckland on Sunday night.

Last night, he was hoping to be discharged and allowed to go home to his wife and three children, aged 13, 12 and 10.

It was clear that even the smallest movements were still painful. He is tired, sometime too exhausted to speak.

Sarabjit Singh

Mr Singh's injuries are extensive. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

"I was standing outside the shop and three people came too fast... and stab... in the back side and front side [of me]."

He said while he now feels well, early after the stabbing he was very sore.

"For two days, too much pain," he said.

Some of the photos of his wounds taken after the attack are too graphic to show.

At his beside, Mr Singh's wife Maninder Preet Kaur said more about how severe his injuries were.

"On Tuesday morning I rang him... he was crying... the doctors said blood was going in his lungs.

"That's why they put in pipe and drain inside... he feels better," she said.

But Ms Kaur said the attack has traumatised her children.

"They are very scared... they are not sleeping at night time, sometimes they wake up shocked."

Mrs Kaur said she and Mr Singh came to New Zealand for a better life.

"We think about here before we are very safe here, but not now... people can do anywhere, anything."

Sarabjit Singh

"For two days, too much pain." Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

She said if the attack had happened inside the liquor store, then nobody might have heard their screams.

"It was a very shocking time... we are very thankful for our across the road neighbours and their help to us.

"If they are not over there I think Surabjit would not be alive today," she said.

Mr Singh, who works in a factory during the day and in the liquor store in the evenings, does not want to return to the shop.

"I'm scared," he said.

Mrs Kaur added: "It's shocking, we are not sleeping, always when we close our eyes, this scene is coming on my eyes."

The pair said they did not want anyone else to be attacked and hurt, and that harsher penalties were needed to deter people.

"We are thinking the law is very soft here, if the law is hard maybe kids not doing the wrong things," Mrs Kaur said.

Three teenagers have been charged over the attack.

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