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left for dead

I quit uni to be dad’s carer after he was hit 14 times with a meat cleaver, but the attack has made us closer than ever

A WOMAN has told of her horror after her beloved dad was bludgeoned with a meat cleaver by two women – for refusing to give them £2.

Phil Preece, 57, was attacked with a meat cleaver by Joanne McNally and her friend Rhea Parker after refusing their demands for money.

 Kelly is now a full-time carer for her dad
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Kelly is now a full-time carer for her dadCredit: Focus Features

But his daughter, Kelly Shaw, nursed him back to recovery and is now his full-time carer – and Phil says his faith in human nature has been strengthened by the kindness around him.

Incredibly, Kelly had in the past bought coffees and snacks for Parker after feeling sorry for her.

McNally lived on the same street as Phil in Blackburn, Lancs, and had been targeting him for money. She had even been heard telling people she looked on him as a father.

But after he refused to give them £2 to buy drugs, the women launched a brutal attack, striking him 14 times with the meat cleaver and leaving him with a fractured skull. He suffered horrific injuries and was lucky to survive.

 Her dad suffered sever injuries after being hit 14 times with a machete
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Her dad suffered sever injuries after being hit 14 times with a macheteCredit: Focus Features

The two women were found guilty of attempted murder and McNally was jailed for 26 years. Parker was handed a 13-year life sentence.

Kelly, 19, said: “It is unbelievable that two women, who pretended to be my dad’s friends, could try to kill him for £2.

“It wasn’t until I saw their photos that I recognised one – I had actually felt sorry for her and bought her a hot drink. I had shown her kindness, and she had tried to kill my dad.

“I have looked after dad all through his recovery and there is no doubt the attack has brought us closer together."

We can see the positives and we are moving forwards.

Kelly Shaw19

She continued: “In spite of everything, Dad says he feels more loved than ever before. We can see the positives and we are moving forwards.”

Kelly grew up with her mum, Diane, now 49, but frequently saw her dad, Phil. Aged 16, they became closer.

Kelly, a criminology student and community worker, said: “Dad had a job in a takeaway and had his own home, he looked after himself just fine. But he was vulnerable because he drank too much. He was soft-hearted but gullible and unreliable, and I did worry that people could take advantage of him.

“After I left school, we got close. I felt like we were making up for lost time."

 Kelly, pictured with her dad, who was attacked
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Kelly, pictured with her dad, who was attackedCredit: Focus Features

She continued: “He told me that McNally, his neighbour, had been popping round to see if he was OK. Another time, she had gone round to put a picture up for him. I didn’t know her, but she and her partner lived a few doors down from dad.

"I presumed she was looking out for him and I thought that was nice of her. It was a comfort to know dad had good friends.”

In August last year, Kelly got a call from her cousin to say that her dad had been attacked and was in hospital.

 Rhea Parker was one of two women who attacked Kelly's dad
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Rhea Parker was one of two women who attacked Kelly's dadCredit: Focus Features
 Joanne McNally also attacked him
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Joanne McNally also attacked himCredit: Focus Features

Kelly said: “Ironically, I had seen a police report of the attack online but the victim was not named. I remembered thinking how dreadful it was to be attacked with a meat cleaver.

"I had no idea it was my own dad, until my cousin rang the following day.”

Kelly contacted police who confirmed that her dad was in hospital in a coma, with serious head injuries.

Kelly says: “When I saw him, he was on life support and swathed in bandages. The doctors told me to expect the worst.

“It seemed so cruel that we had become closer, and now I was going to lose him.”

 Phil Preece poses with his wounds after the brutal attack
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Phil Preece poses with his wounds after the brutal attackCredit: Focus Features

Incredibly, Phil fought back but remained in hospital for five weeks.

Kelly said: “When dad woke up from his coma, he was very afraid and confused. He didn’t recognise me. He had no idea who I was at all. He had deep wounds to his head and hands and he was in so much pain.

“He needed several operations and even when he came home, five weeks later, he was in a wheelchair.

“The police told me that McNally and Parker were known offenders. McNally was his neighbour and, realising he was vulnerable and soft-hearted, she had been targeting him for money.

“On the day of the row, they had called round and demanded £2 from him, to buy the drug spice.

 Understandably, Kelly was devastated about what her beloved dad endured
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Understandably, Kelly was devastated about what her beloved dad enduredCredit: Focus Features

“After the attack they just ran off and left my dad to die. He was discovered, unconscious and in a pool of blood, by his brother, David, who raised the alarm."

She continued: “When I saw photos of the women, I realised that I recognised Parker – I had often seen her sitting outside the shops in town. I had even bought her a hot drink and a sandwich because I felt sorry for her.”

Kelly helped nurse her dad back to recovery and deferred her place at university to care for him.

She said: “When he came home from hospital, he couldn’t walk. He suffered with flashbacks and nightmares.

“Even now, he does not feel safe. He still lives in the same house where the attack happened and it is scary for him.

“He has problems with his memory, he has mood swings, and is very anxious. In many ways, he is a different man.”

 Police pictures show some of the wounds Phil suffered while attempting to fight off his attackers
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Police pictures show some of the wounds Phil suffered while attempting to fight off his attackersCredit: Focus Features

Joanne McNally, 40, and Rhea Parker, 23, were found guilty of attempted murder at Preston Crown Court in January.

The court was told both have lengthy criminal records.

The court heard they were arrested within hours of the incident, after making repeated boasts in Blackburn town centre that they had "murdered" someone.

In February, Parker, of no fixed address, was jailed for life and will serve a minimum of 13 years and 259 days before being considered for parole.

She was also sentenced for a wounding and two attempted robberies.

I am so proud to have her as my daughter and that is my focus.

Phil Preece57

McNally was jailed for 26 years.

Speaking after their convictions, Detective Inspector Paul Barlow, senior investigating officer in the case, said: "The victim in this case was extremely vulnerable and was targeted by someone he thought was a friend – but who in fact was simply preying on him for money.

"When he refused he was attacked in his own home with 14 strikes to his head with a meat cleaver brought by the offenders to the house. He was then left for dead until a friend raised the alarm.”

Phil Preece, 57, said: “Without Kelly, I couldn’t have coped.

"She’s been here for me every day. I am so proud to have her as my daughter and that is my focus. I don’t think about the attack. I think about the future and how lucky I am.”

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