A woman who was violently sexually assaulted as she walked through Whitley Bay after a night out has made her identity public to try and catch her attacker.
Stephanie Hewson from North Tyneside was attacked in August 2009 and asked to take part in a renewed media appeal after a strong public response to TV appeals on a rape in Whitley Bay in 2011.
She was 23 at the time of the attack and suffered serious injuries.
"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 from inside to out.
"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 think back to when I was 18 and me and my friends used to walk home late at night and when this happened I only walked four car lengths and this happened to me – it’s not worth it."
The assault happened at 2:33am on Sunday, August 2nd 2009, when police received a report expressing concern for a woman in a back alley in Beach Avenue.
Officers found Stephanie lying on the ground.
Before the attack she had been out in Newcastle and travelled by taxi to Whitley Bay, planning to meet up with other friends.
She was seen talking to friends outside Envy on South Parade in Whitley Bay around 1.45am before walking with a friend to the top of South Parade. This friend left her at 2am.
She then walked towards Park Avenue when she was approached by a man who dragged her into the rear lane of Beach Avenue and sexually assaulted her.
Police released CCTV stills of a man they wanted to speak to in connection with the attack.
The images show a white man aged mid to late 20s, with short hair receding at the temples, wearing a mid-blue short sleeved T-shirt with the word Mackenzie in yellow, dark jeans and white trainers.
Police received a number of calls from the public but weren't able to charge anyone in connection with the attack.
Detective Inspector Paul Race from Northumbria Police Rape Investigation Team said: "This crime has never been closed and we regularly carry out reviews of unsolved crimes to see whether any further progress can be made. If we receive new information we will investigate it and act on it.
"I have to praise Stephanie and her family for their courage shown since the incident happened and their support and help to officers investigating the attack.
"I also need to reassure the residents of Whitley Bay - and the wider public - that incidents of this nature are thankfully very unusual."
Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact the Northumbria Police rape team on 101 ext 69191 or independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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