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Victim has no idea why he was stabbed as he slept

Hervey Bay man Eric Heuer on Urangan beach after attacking his flatmates.
Hervey Bay man Eric Heuer on Urangan beach after attacking his flatmates. Alistair Brightman

ROBIN Drury still has no idea why his former housemate Eric Roger Frederick Heuer repeatedly stabbed him with a knife as he slept on the couch in their Urangan unit on November 18, 2008.

After five long years seeking justice, Mr Drury felt it was finally delivered on Monday when Heuer pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of both both himselfself and another housemate, Rodney Pettitt.

But it still doesn't answer the question of what provoked the attack in the first place.

Mr Drury remembers waking up that morning and feeling six or seven blows raining down on his neck and head.

At first he thought he was being punched, but then he felt blood and he realised he was being stabbed.

His jugular vein had been nicked in the attack and Mr Drury was losing a significant amount of blood as Heuer attacked him with a stainless steel kitchen knife.

Mr Drury said he and his fellow housemates weren't particularly security conscious and he had stumbled towards the front door, hoping to escape and was surprised to find it locked.

Robin Drury talks about the day in 2008 when he was stabbed 22 times.
Robin Drury talks about the day in 2008 when he was stabbed 22 times. Contributed

Mr Drury could hear Heuer giggling behind him.

Then Heuer said the only words he was to speak throughout the entire attack: "What are you doing you idiot? You're not getting out - I've locked all the doors".

Mr Pettitt came to the assistance of Mr Drury after being woken by his screams.

He helped his flatmate into one of the upstairs rooms, but not before being stabbed himself, the knife wound cutting into his liver.

Mr Pettitt was able to help the barely conscious Mr Drury over the balcony before seeking help from their neighbour, Katrina Geltch.

Ms Geltch let the two men into her home. She had no phone, so went outside to contact emergency services and encountered Heuer herself, who told her that he just wanted to come inside and "finish them off".

Mr Drury, who had 22 stab wounds and went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance on the way to hospital, said he was incredibly grateful for Ms Geltch's help.

He woke in hospital three days after life-saving surgery.

Mr Drury said a great sense of sadness had overcome him, believing he was going to die at only 23 years old, overcoming the fear he had felt when the attack began.

His mother's birthday was two weeks away and he was distressed about the pain the news of his death would cause.

He had also been asked to be the best man at his sister's wedding shortly before the attack and he feared he would die before ever seeing a member of his family again.

"I didn't think I stood much chance," Mr Drury said.

Mr Drury and Mr Pettitt had met Heuer through a mutual friend who told them Heuer needed a place to stay for a while.

Heuer told them he had no money for rent but would be able to give it to them when his pension started as a former solder.

They later discovered Heuer had never been in the army.

Mr Drury said there had never been any pressure on Mr Heuer to pay rent.

He said until that day, there had been no conflict between the housemates at all.

"I never had a cross word with him," Mr Drury said.

Since the attack Mr Drury has trouble sleeping and can't has not been able to share his home with a stranger.

He now lives alone, which isn't ideal but is better than the constant fear of being attacked in his home.

Mr Drury has been left with nerve damage in his left arm and tendons in his wrist were severed during the attack.

He has only regained about 20% of strength he once had in his left arm and scars across his head, neck and chest remind him daily of the violent attack.

At first his mindset was quite positive after the incident but the case stalled when Heuer when through an assessment in the Mental Health Court and was later deemed fit to stand trial.

Heuer then pleaded not guilty when the case went to trial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane earlier this year, but after two days the trial was aborted and the jury was discharged.

The delays took a toll on Mr Drury's mental health and he become depressed.

The use of antidepressants helped and he found it easier to sleep.

He was at one stage diagnosed with post-traumatic stress but says he feels he doesn't suffer from that now.

Seeing Heuer in court for the first time after the vicious assault was difficult, but seeing Heuer at subsequent court hearings has become easier.

Mr Drury said was was looking forward to next week's sentencing hearing and hoped the sentence would fit the crime

Topics:  attempted murder, stabbed, stabbing, urangan




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