Woman stabbed in bizarre daylight attack

·2-min read

A Melbourne woman who was stabbed in the back in a random park attack in broad daylight is glad it happened to her and not someone without the support she had in her recovery.

The 21-year-old was on a walking track in Gowanbrae in September last year when she was set upon by a man she had never met.

She was left with permanent scarring and was afraid to walk alone for a month afterwards, but says without help from family, friends and psychologists someone else might not have been able to return to life as normal.

Police found a knife taped to the bed slats of 19-year-old Dmitri Evangelou after the attack.

He pleaded guilty on Wednesday to intentionally causing injury and recklessly causing serious injury.

The woman had noticed Evangelou watching her from nearby as she followed the winding walking track.

At one point he changed direction and ran away, but when she saw him next he was about 20 metres away looking straight at her.

As she continued along the path he ran across a grassed area and ended up ahead of her. Then as she turned a bend she saw him suddenly pop into her peripheral vision, coming from behind in an aggressive way.

He grabbed hold of her and as she backed away toward some trees she felt something sharp in her back.

Evangelou stabbed her three times with a folding knife.

As she defended herself the knife partially amputated the tip of her little finger, taking off the nail and breaking the bone.

Bystanders came to her aid after hearing her screams.

The woman had to have her back wound cleaned and stitched in surgery, while she needed to have a wire inserted into her finger to align the bones. The wire was later removed in a second operation.

Police identified Evangelou as the attacker after he dropped his phone at the scene.

They searched his family home later that night, finding the folding knife taped underneath his bed slats.

The woman said the incident left her afraid to walk alone for a month and resulted in nightmares.

But she said she was grateful it had happened to her, and not to someone who didn't have the support that she had to overcome what had happened.

Judge Douglas Trapnell described the incident as "very bizarre behaviour".

His lawyer Jessica Willard has asked for a psychiatric evaluation, noting he had been hearing voices since being taken into custody over the incident.

She said Evangelou had a good relationship with his mother but his father had employed a "tough love" style of parenting which included making Evangelou sit at the table until he'd eaten his broccoli, which he didn't like.

His case will return to court in November, once he has undergone evaluation.

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