A SECURITY guard stabbed with a used syringe by a shoplifter is “living under a death sentence” with a six-month wait to see if he has contracted a disease.
Kenneth Bruce was allegedly stabbed four times in the hand with a syringe as he tried to stop a suspected thief making off with jars of stolen coffee worth £30 at the Lidl store in Nicolson Street.
The 44-year-old will have to wait until May 8 to discover if he is clear of HIV while he faces an agonising six-month wait to learn if he has hepatitis.
Mr Bruce, a father-of-two, is terrified of passing on any viruses to his five-year-old son and ten-year-old daughter and now feels his life is “coming apart”. Mr Bruce was forced to quit his job at the weekend after being unable to continue confronting shoplifters, and is seeking counselling to help with his mental health.
A security guard for 21 years, Mr Bruce was already awaiting operations on his stomach to repair a hernia and investigate a parasitic condition, leaving him particularly vulnerable to hepatitis.
He said: “HIV can be difficult to transfer from a syringe. Hepatitis C is the one I’m more worried about as it attacks the liver and with my stomach condition that could prove deadly.
“I feel like my life is coming apart and I don’t know how I’m going to wait for six months without knowing. It’s like I’m living under a death sentence.”
Mr Bruce has been attacked with weapons including baseball bats during his time in the security trade, but said nothing could compare with this assault.
He said: “I honestly would have preferred to be stabbed with a knife. At least it would be over with.
“Instead I’m living a nightmare and my life feels destroyed.
“I’m seeing a doctor to see if I can get counselling because otherwise I’m not sure how I’ll get through it.
“My partner has been very supportive but I think she’s struggling with my moods fluctuating so much.”
Mr Bruce was allegedly attacked at about 12.10pm on March 22, just minutes after he arrived for work.
He believes a man tried to leave the store without paying for six jars of coffee.
He said: “I struggled to hold him until the police came. Then I saw he had a syringe in his hand and was trying to stab me with it.
“It was only when I released him I noticed blood coming from the soft tissue between my thumb and forefinger. I had been stabbed four times.”
Doctors have taken blood samples and put him on vaccines but can do nothing to speed up the agonising waiting game.
“Right now, I don’t know what to think or feel. It changes from one minutes to the next. I’m angry then in tears seconds later.
“I tried to go back to work but my nerves are shot to pieces. I can’t imagine being able to apprehend a shoplifter now. I can’t do my job anymore so I had to resign. I’m terrified my children catch something from me.
“I won’t let them drink out of anything I’ve drank from. I’m wondering whether I will be there for my kids in the future now.”
Police Scotland last night said a man has been arrested.
They said: “We can confirm that a 25-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with an incident in Nicolson Street on March 22.”