The victim of a violent sexual assault is speaking out in an attempt to track down the man responsible.
Stephanie Hewson, from North Tyneside, received horrific injuries during the attack in Whitley Bay in 2009. She has chosen to come forward and speak about her ordeal in an effort to help police catch the offender.
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, who was 23 at the time, lying in the alley after suffering a sexual assault.
She was in a distressed state with serious facial injuries.
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.
Since the attack officers have spoken to many nearby residents. CCTV from the scene and surrounding areas was seized and studied by police and a number of potential witnesses were identified and spoken to.
Police appealed to the public for information and released CCTV stills of a man they wanted to speak to in connection with the attack.
The CCTV images are of 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.
Anyone with any information into the incident is asked to contact the Northumbria Police rape team on 101 ext 69191 or by ringing the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.