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Man left for dead in brutal stabbing forgives attacker

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Kristian Shortt received a letter from his attacker. Picture: North West Newspix

Kristian Shortt received a letter from his attacker. Picture: North West Newspix

Kristian Shortt received a letter from his attacker. Picture: North West Newspix

A man who almost died twice after being stabbed 17 times has said he forgives his attacker after he received a letter of apology from him from prison.

Kristian Shortt was left for dead after Kenneth Broe stabbed him repeatedly in an apartment in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

So bad were Mr Shortt's injuries that gardaí could not tell if he was a man or a woman when they arrived at the scene.

Broe, from Tallaght, Dublin, was jailed last month at Letterkenny Circuit Court for eight years for the violent attack on Mr Shortt.

But last week Broe wrote to his victim pleading for forgiveness and suggesting that they might even become friends one day.

Remarkably, Mr Shortt (37) has now said he forgives his attacker and is looking forward to visiting him in prison.

The court heard how Broe had fled the scene of the attack on Main Street in Letterkenny in 2008 and was later caught in Monaghan in possession of €1,100 worth of cocaine.

Broe used a pair of scissors to attack his victim, injuring him in the neck, head, chest, hands and back.

Mr Shortt spent two weeks in intensive care at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin and underwent two life-saving operations.

In the letter to Mr Shortt, Broe blamed a blood transfusion which he said put him in fear that he had contracted CJD which he says later led him to suffer from depression.

In the letter he said he is now a changed person and wanted to say how sorry he was for all he had done to Mr Shortt and his family.

"I'm sure you think that I am a bad person but I am actually a very decent person. I was down on my luck and I behaved terribly," he wrote.

"You seem like a man of great character and strength and I always felt that me and you could have been good friends if it were not for what happened."

Broe then offers his apology to his victim and says that in time he would like to speak with him face-to-face.

"I do have intentions of speaking with you in time if that's OK with you. I feel it would be good to talk about it as there's only so much I can say in a letter. Obviously if you feel differently then I understand and I will not contact you again."

And he adds: "I do hope that you get closure, Kristian, and that you can find it in your heart to forgive me or maybe understand what was going on with me at the time."

Reacting to the letter, Mr Shortt said it took "great courage" for Broe to write the letter and he forgives him.

"This apology was very moving for me to read. I let my mother read it and she was moved by it also, despite the fact that this man tried to brutally murder her son," he said.

Irish Independent