Graeme Perks was stabbed at his home in Halam, Nottinghamshire (Picture: Raymonds Press Agency/ @NUHDSU)
A retired plastic surgeon has been left fighting for his life after he was stabbed by an intruder who had broken into his family home.
Graeme Perks suffered puncture wounds to his stomach and chest in what detectives described as a ‘horrific ordeal’ at around 4.15am on Thursday.
An intruder is thought to have smashed their way into the house before attacking Mr Perks, 65, when he went to investigate the sound of breaking glass.
A 55-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the stabbing and was being questioned by police on Friday.
Mr Perks lives in the £800,000 home – named The Old Vicarage – in the picturesque village of Halam, Nottinghamshire, with wife Beverley, 68, and one of his four children.
He was rushed to hospital, where he was said to be in a ‘serious but stable’ condition in intensive care.
Neighbours said Mr Perks, who was head of the department of plastic, reconstructive and burns surgery at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust before retiring late last year, is a ‘pillar of the community.’
Glenys Herbert, 80, said: ‘Graeme and Beverley are just lovely people. They are part of the church community and join in with everything in the village, and open their garden to the public every year as part of the National Garden Scheme. Beverley is a very keen gardener, and Graeme has been semi-retired for about a year, I think.
Police this morning outside the home of Graeme Perks in the picturesque village of Halam, Notts (Picture: Raymonds Press)
Mr Perks is thought to have been stabbed by an intruder in the early hours of the morning (Picture: Raymonds Press)
‘The whole thing is just appalling. You would never in a million years expect something like this to happen here. I can’t think of anything similar in recent times.
‘The whole village just feels violated. We are all completely shocked. The phones haven’t stopped ringing.
‘They have four children, two of whom are involved in the medical profession in London, I believe, and one who is travelling. The other one lives with them. And they have just got a new cocker spaniel dog they are thrilled to bits about.’
Mrs Herbert, who is warden of Halam’s 11th century St Michael the Archangel’s church, aded: ‘It is a very neighbourly village where everybody keeps an eye out for everyone else.
Graeme Perks was head of the department of plastic, reconstructive and burns surgery at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
‘We are all just praying that Graeme pulls through. Lots of prayers have been said this morning. We just hope he recovers as swiftly as possible from such a devastating incident.’
Another neighbour, Graham Podmore, 50, said: ‘You couldn’t wish to meet a nicer, more mellow, guy than Graeme.
‘And he’s brilliant at what he does – he has been a leading surgeon in his field for many years.
‘I didn’t realise anything had happened until I read the news reports. We are all kind of cocooned in our houses at the moment with lockdown. But it is a total surprise – this is a lovely village, and this kind of thing just doesn’t happen here.’
Graeme Perks retired late last year from his role as a leading plastic surgeon (Picture: @NUHDSU)
The Perks’ home was cordoned off after the incident. A police officer stood guard outside while white-suited forensics officers – one with a sniffer dog – entered and left.
Detective Inspector Gayle Hart, who is leading the investigation, said: ‘This is a horrific incident which has left a man fighting for his life and his family who were upstairs at the time are extremely shocked and upset by the ordeal.
‘Detectives are working hard to establish the circumstances and progress the investigation as quickly as possible.
‘We’re continuing to make enquiries and are determined to bring those responsible to justice, and we would reassure the public that reports such as this are taken extremely seriously.’
Mr Perks was rushed to hospital, where he was said to be in a ‘serious but stable’ condition in intensive care
Det Insp Hart said they will be interviewing the man who has been arrested ‘in due course’ and that he hoped the swift arrest would ‘provide some reassurance to local residents.’
Mr Perks is the chairman of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons’ professional standards committee (BAPRAS) and is a past president of the organisation. He qualified as a surgeon in 1979.
Current BAPRAS president Ruth Waters said the body had been contacted by colleagues all around the world as news of the attack spread.
She told the BBC: ‘All have expressed their shock at what has happened and also their deep concern for his wellbeing and their hope for his speedy recovery.
‘It has been my good fortune and honour to know Graeme for many years. I have benefited from his kindness, generosity and extensive knowledge throughout my career in plastic surgery.’
Halam, which has a population of 426, is located just to the west of the Minster town of Southwell, Nottinghamshire.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.