Woman who left South Yorkshire sex attacker battered and bruised: 'I had to fight back to survive'

Johnathon Holmes was left battered and bruised by Lucy Kucharik Credit: South Yorkshire Police

A woman who left a sexual predator badly bruised after bravely fighting back when he attacked her in Sheffield has spoken about her ordeal for the first time.

Lucy Kucharik has waived her anonymity to talk about the moment Johnathon Holmes followed her before grabbing her and throwing her over a hedge in November last year.

The 21-year-old used keys to beat Holmes, 35, around the face, leaving him with severe bruising.

Images of his injuries were later released by police.

"I had to fight back to survive," she said.

Miss Kucharik was walking home from work in the early hours of November 1 last year when she was stalked for more than a mile by Holmes, who was heavily drunk.

She said she should have realised he was following her, but only did so when it was too late.

"It was just my instinct to turn around and stand my ground, so I punched him in the stomach and he ran at me and just picked me up and threw me over the hedge," she said.

"He was a massive guy. He was just using his weight and sort of smothering me."

Holmes told her, "You're going to enjoy this", but she fought back and used her keys to stab him in the face.

"When he started giving up I knelt over him with my keys to his throat," she said. "I just cried for so long. It was just such a relief that they caught him."

Holmes was later jailed for four-and-a-half years. Miss Kucharik has been speaking at an event aimed at supporting crime victims in Rotherham today.