A man who had his nose bitten off during a horrific attack by a crazed friend on Wednesday said: “I’m just grateful to be alive.”
Scarred Denver Varley, 54, lost a large part his nose, his upper lip and a chunk from his left ear in an attack he likened to a scene from “Silence of the Lambs.”
During the assault in Blackpool, England, his attacker Lee Scott, 42, dialled 999 — the UK’s version of 911 — and chillingly told police: “If you don’t get here, I am going to kill him.’
Blackpool is a seaside resort town on the west coast of England.
Varley, who has been left unable to smile, spent three months in the hospital and has undergone seven operations to repair his injuries, which one detective described as “the worst I have ever seen.”
Tissue taken from Varley’s shoulder has been used to construct a new top lip and he underwent a “forehead flap” procedure to reconstruct his nose.
Varley has to have multiple procedures to fix his face, but he’ll be scarred for the rest of his life.SWNS
Speaking publicly for the first time since Scott was jailed for life, Varley said: “How I survived that, I will never know.
“I have seen the crime scene photos and they were horrific – it was like something out of ‘Silence of the Lambs.’
“I am just grateful to be alive, quite frankly.”
Scott dialed 999 and told operators what he was doing during the attack at his neighbor’s apartment on Jan. 18, Burnley Crown Court heard.
He then denied assault, claiming he was acting in self-defense, but was later found guilty.
Varley, an American citizen who has lived England since 2012, said the pair had been drinking together socially when Scott “snapped for no apparent reason.”
Varley turned his back briefly when Scott – who had also taken drugs – launched into the frenzied attack, biting him repeatedly.
He added: “It was sociable up to that point.
“All of a sudden he’s on my back and he’s trying to rain blows on my face.
“He’s a much larger man than me.
“He was able to get on top and pin me down.
“I managed to grab his arms and block his punches.
“Then he brought his face down and began savagely tearing into my face.”
Varley lost a large chunk of his left ear as well as part of his nose and upper lip in the attack.
He said surgeons at Royal Preston Hospital, where he was taken after a short stay at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, had done a “remarkable job” repairing the damage.
He was discharged from the hospital in April, but he will still be scarred for life.
He added: “They are not the ones who have to look in the mirror and realize the extent of what he did.
“I will never look the way I did.
“It’s been a terrible ordeal.”
However, Varley said he is getting support to cope with the effects of the attack and is now coming off the medication he was on following the surgery.
He said he is taking each day one at a time.
Varley added: “He will be in prison for at least 10 years.
“I just want to get as much exposure as I can for what he has done.
“I am just appreciative I am still alive.
“I have to look in the mirror every day and see the injuries.
“The injuries won’t heal, it is life-changing.
“I have been left with a constant reminder of what happened to me.”
When police got to the scene of the attack, they were shocked by the level of violence they witnessed.
Speaking after Scott was jailed for life for his actions, Chris Hammond, of the Lancashire Police, said: “Lee Scott’s actions that night were pure evil.
“The defendant bit the victim numerous times on the face, causing serious injuries to his cheek, nose, ear and upper lip.
“The victim was left with some of the most horrendous injuries I have ever seen.
“When the police arrived they were met with an utterly unspeakable scene and had to remove the defendant off the victim, who was still carrying out his attack.
“As if this horrendous act of violence was not enough, the defendant had earlier called the police telling them what he was doing.
“Scott was found to have no mental health issues and pleaded not guilty, saying his extreme actions were self-defense, having suffered a cut finger during the earlier incident.
“The victim has had to undergo seven operations and spent three months in the hospital.
“He has thankfully made a remarkable recovery, however still has life-changing injuries.
“This crime has understandably had a significant psychological impact on him and I hope in time that he is able to move on with his life.
“I further commend his bravery for giving evidence in court.
“The sentence handed down by the court reflects Scott’s savage actions and we welcome the court result.”