Kelowna nightclub stabbing victim offers painful testimony

"I looked up at the guy who stabbed me and then he smiled at me and showed me the knife he was holding ...I'll never forget that face."

Kelowna Law Courts file photo

The injuries Ryan Sidhu incurred when he was stabbed multiple times outside Sapphire Nightclub May 18 2014 weren’t fatal, but they did put an end to the life he once knew.

“(There are) scars all over my body… and it’s affecting my ability to work,” Sidhu testified Wednesday at the aggravated assault trial of  Surrey man Jodhbir Atwal, 21.

“I’m still seeing doctors for anxiety, PTSD, depression and anorexia. I also have nerve damage that causes twitches… doctors say ‘everything will be fine. Take this pill,’ but it’s not fine.”

Sidhu incurred those long-lasting injuries when he and a few friends went to the Kelowna club for a night of partying that ended early because the “vibe” felt off.

After exiting the club, Sidhu and his friends lingered outside for awhile and at some point one his group of friends  —a “small guy” — was being strangled by another man.

Sidhu testified that he walked across the street to reach the pair,  and he put his arm on the attacker. That’s when he became the victim.

“I literally turned around and he started stabbing me. I didn’t know I was being stabbed at the time,” Sidhu said. “All I could feel was big thuds across my body, everywhere.”

When asked by crown counsel what he was doing, Sidhu said he wasn’t fighting back so much as defending himself from the onslaught, and that he put his hands up. He wasn’t even sure who his attacker was or where his friends were until he was lying on the ground, looking up.

“I looked up at the guy who stabbed me and then he smiled at me and showed me the knife he was holding,” Sidhu said.

“I’ll never forget that face.”

When Atwal walked away after a period “that felt like forever,” Sidhu’s friends rushed to his side and he realized he had to go to the hospital.

“That’s when I lifted up my shirt and I could see my intestines coming out of my stomach,” he said.

One of his friends got him into a car, tried to cover his wounds with his jacket and they rushed to the hospital. Once there he was taken to emergency and underwent surgery.

“It was scary… something I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience,” he said.

When he awoke from surgery he looked down on his hands and arms and saw stitches.

“(That’s when) I knew it wasn’t a dream,” he said. “I didn’t want to look at my stomach for a couple of days because I didn’t want to know what that looked like.”

He was in the hospital for several days before being released. When he went home a few days later a friend who had been with him through the ordeal said that they figured out who was behind the attack — “a kid named Joey Atwal”— and that he went to their old high school.

“I went home and went through my yearbook and found him,” said Sidhu. “I saw his face and realized his name was Jodhbir.”

In the days that followedteh friends who were by Sidhu through the attack have abandoned him.

“Now they don’t want anything to do with me,” he told the courts.

The trial is set to continue until Friday.

Crown counsel Cory LaBoucane   will bring forward surveillance footage from outside Sapphire and multiple witnesses in the days ahead.

Atwal remains out of custody while the trial is ongoing.