A man who attacked a woman and left her to die in a field has been found guilty of her attempted murder.
Matthew Stevens attacked his victim after meeting her while she was enjoying a night out in a Newcastle city centre bar with a friend on 10 March.
The 27-year-old had denied attempted murder but was found guilty following a six-day trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
During the proceedings, the court heard how after Stevens had met the woman in a bar, and then got her to share a taxi with him around 2:30am.
The woman, who had left her purse in the bar, was heard asking to be taken home multiple times but was instead taken to Darrel Street in Wideopen.
Phone records would later reveal Stevens had made a number of phone calls in the car, trying to find a suitable location to take his victim so they could spend the night together.
Once they were dropped off around 3am, CCTV would show the pair walking along Drysdale Crescent, towards the nearby fields.
Hours later, a distressed dog walker raised the alarm after finding the victim, naked and barely conscious, with severe swelling to her face and her clothes strewn across the grass.
Emergency services attended and an investigation launched.
Stevens was arrested at his home address with searches of his address recovering several bracelets the victim had been wearing the previous night, as well as his clothing which was stained with her blood.
Following a trial, Stevens, of Drysdale Crescent in Brunswick, Newcastle, was found guilty of attempted murder and is due to be sentenced on March 20 next year.
Speaking after the trial, Detective Inspector Tam Fowler of Northumbria Police said: “This was a sinister attack which I’m sure will stay with the victim for some time, and I hope today gives her that first step towards the closure she needs and deserves.
“Her bravery and courage throughout these proceedings has been remarkable and I am pleased the jury saw through the lies told by Stevens about his actions and intentions that night. He is a dangerous man who should not be afforded the luxury of living in our communities and I am pleased he faces a significant custodial sentence.
“Stevens’ motivations were clear and thanks to the evidence gathered, we were able to show the court how he isolated his victim, taking her away from her friend to an area she didn’t know to carry out the attack, and when he was finished, he left her alone in a field, without her clothes, phone or any ways to get home or call help, with significant facial injuries which she would have died from, had the dog walker not found her.
“I hope our communities know this type of despicable behaviour can never be excused or tolerated and as a force we will do all we can to put offenders like Stevens before the courts.
“Violence of any kind is completely unacceptable and I would like to thank all the officers, staff and witnesses who came forward to help us with this case, and ensure a dangerous, violent man is no longer able to harm anyone else.”
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