A MAN who was bitten nine times by a deadly brown snake says it was no mistake - he had been trying to kill himself.
The incident with the King Brown happened 12 years ago. But the story has been retold thousands of times in newspapers across the globe.
It has just resurfaced in Australia - only to be dismissed as an urban myth by radio commentators. But the extraordinary tale is true - and has an amazing new twist.
For the first time, Darwin-born Gordon Lyons, 55, has revealed the full story of that near-fatal day to the Northern Territory News.
He said his battle with one of the world's deadliest snakes was no drunken mishap - he was trying to kill himself.
"I had lost my wife and was fighting for custody of my kids," he said. "I decided I didn't want to be here. I put the snake on me. I caught it and let it bite me."
Mr Lyons was driving along Mandorah Rd on the Cox Peninsula 12 years ago with a friend when he saw the snake. "We stopped and I caught it," he said.
After a few minutes, Mr Lyons made a spur-of-the-moment decision - to let the King Brown kill him.
"I took it out of the bag, shook it to stir it up and it bit me, again and again," he said. "My mate was a big, burly bloke but he was horrified. He was crying."
Lyons, who had an arm amputated and almost died on the operating table after his heart stopped, said he no longer felt suicidal. "I'm all right now and wouldn't do it again."
For more on this story, visit the Northern Territory News
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