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'I forgive the man who did this to me'

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 11, 2014

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It was a picture that shocked the West Country, but Jean Taylor has forgiven her attacker for a brutal beating that left her moments from death.

Although the emotional aftermath of the assault in her Bristol home will forever leave its mark, the scars are slowly healing.

The 76-year-old from Totterdown was left bleeding on the floor after being repeatedly beaten over the head with a hard object. The attack happened in the middle of the afternoon on January 28, when her assailant had made conversation on her doorstep before hitting her when she turned her back.

Six weeks on, she has forgiven the man who left her for dead, but said the incident has left her "in a bit of a muddle."

The retired English teacher, known as Jennie, said: "I just want to put the whole thing behind me. I have always been independent so now that I'm having to be looked after it is making me a bit down.

"I'm a bit muddled up at the moment. I remember every moment of the attack – his face was pure evil. He looked so bitter at the world.

"I prayed to God while the man was beating me, and asked that I wouldn't die like that. Now I forgive him in a way, because he must have been through some awful things in his life to drive him to do that to someone. I feel sorry for him."

Her head wounds are still painful and weeping, although she said she is slowly on the mend.

She said: "I'm a tough old bird and I've got strong bones. "The doctors were amazed he didn't cave my skull in – it could have been worse.

"I had keyhole surgery on that side of my head ten years ago, where I had a brain tumour, so it was already a bit fragile. And I had just come out of hospital, so it really all came at once, which is why I have good days and bad days. I am trying to look forward and put it behind me now, I am sick of thinking about it."

Letters and cards from well-wishers have comforted her while she recovers. Hundreds of former pupils from Keynsham Grammar, later Wellsway School, got in touch after hearing about her injuries.

She said: "Knowing people remember you and care about you makes you feel better on the tough days. "I am grateful for some wonderful friends that I have who help me."

A lump remains on the right side of her head, the last visible sign of the seven head wounds she suffered, along with bruised ribs and a bruised hand.

Avon and Somerset Police are still seeking a culprit, described as being white in his late 30s or early 40s and of medium build.

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