UK police have released CCTV footage of a man who sexually assaulted Stephanie Hewson, 26, three years ago. Hewson waived her anonymity to come out with an appeal for help to find the man who violently assaulted her after a night out with friends.
Daily Mail reports Hewson, describing her injuries, said: "It’s a miracle I’m still here. I had gashes all over my back, the tops of my shoulders and my head, face and jaw were swollen. I had black eyes and scrapes all over my body and I had damage to the backs of both of my eyes from being kicked so many times. My nose was broken and my mouth ripped apart."
Hewson's decision to waive her anonymity and appeal for help is the culmination of three years of battling with the physical and psychological scars of the incident.
The Sun reports she said: "Since the attack my life has completely changed. I don’t go out on nights out any more, and very rarely go out at all – only to restaurants, if at all. I’m scared to get out of my car to go in to work and I don’t go out at all if it’s dark, not even to the supermarket."
According to Daily Mail, the brutal attack happened at 2.33 a.m., on Sunday, August 2, 2009, in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear. Hewson had been with a couple of friends on a night out in Newcastle. She was seen with friends outside the Envy pub around 1.45 a.m., Daily Mail reports. She left the pub with a friend and the two parted at around 2 a.m.
CCTV of suspect in Stephanie Hewson case
According to BBC, Hewson, who was 23 at the time of the attack, was walking alone towards Park Avenue at about 02:30 BST, when a man appeared and dragged her into the rear lane of Beach Avenue and sexually assault her.
BBC reports that police found her in a distressed state, bleeding and with severe facial injuries.
In spite of having CCTV images of the suspect, police have been unable to find him after three years. Hewson finally agreed to have the images released, and police are urging anyone who recognizes the man or who has any information to come forward.
The images show a Caucasian male in his 20s with short receding hair. He is shown fiddling with his trouser fly. He is wearing blue short-sleeved T-shirt with the word "McKenzie" in yellow. He is also wearing a pair of dark jeans and white trainers.
BBC reports Det. Insp Paul Race, of the Northumbria Police Rape Investigation Team, said: "This was a particularly nasty assault on a young woman that left her with a number of serious physical injuries and emotionally distressed." According to Race, "We carried out extensive inquiries at the time but unfortunately were unable to charge anyone. This crime has never been closed. If we receive new information we will act on it. I have to praise Stephanie and her family for their courage since the incident and their support and help to officers investigating the attack."
The Sun reports Miss Hewson said: "I think back to when I was 18 and me and my friends used to walk home late at night. When this happened, I only walked four car lengths and this happened to me. It is not worth it. Everyone needs to be on guard, especially when they’ve had a drink."
The Police are asking anyone with information to contact Northumbria Police rape team on 101 ext 69191 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111