A FLINTSHIRE woman who was randomly punched in the face while she sat on steps in Chester city centre has criticised the police for failing to properly investigate.

The victim, who was left unconscious after the unprovoked attack, contacted the Leader as she fears the thug may strike again with even more serious consequences.

The 59-year-old claimed officers had failed to adequately trawl through local CCTV footage to find her assailant, who she says she would easily recognise.

She claims she had to approach a number of city centre shops herself to secure CCTV footage from the night she was attacked – Wednesday, November 13.

And she even offered to pay towards the cost of providing the man hours to look through the videos, all to no avail.

The woman, who did not wish to be named, also said she had not been offered any victim support and was given the wrong number to call when she asked about the service herself.

The Leader:

Eastgate Street sign

Furthermore, she claims at least five calls and one email have not been returned and on one occasion she was mistakenly told her case had been closed.

“The whole thing has been shambolic,” she said. “He wasn’t drunk and he wasn’t homeless, he was just a nasty piece of work. There’s now someone wandering around Chester who’s potentially a murderer.

“I’m very lucky. They thought I might have a detached retina but I didn’t. What if he did this to a little old lady? He could kill her. I don’t believe the police have done enough to try and catch him. I had to go around the shops myself asking for CCTV, doing their job for them.”

The victim told this newspaper she had not been allowed to view the CCTV footage herself for data protection reasons.

She accepted the police had now started looking through the videos but said it took far too long for the footage to be obtained.

“I would pay out of my own money for someone to sit and go through the 20 hours or so of footage from the surrounding streets,” she said. “He’s got to be on CCTV somewhere. I will never forget that guy’s face. Show me the CCTV and I will be able to pick him out instantly.

“If I see in a month’s time that someone of that description has killed someone I’ll feel terrible. I just want to catch the b*****d.”

This newspaper put the victim’s claims and criticism to Cheshire Police but a spokesman said she could not comment as a ‘professional standards’ complaint had been made. However, she did provide reassurances that the investigation into the assault is “very much ongoing”.

Describing the incident, the victim said she had been sober and alone, sitting near the Bella Italia restaurant on Eastgate Street just before midnight trying to get a taxi.

“This chap came up to me and tried to talk to me,” she said. “He mentioned something about the weather. I looked up and then looked back down. The next thing I knew he punched me and there was blood.”

She said she wished to thank two women who came to her aid and put her in the recovery position before she was taken to hospital with an eye injury.

The whole ordeal had taken a toll on her, she said.

“It’s left me very traumatised,” the woman said. “For a week I thought I was losing my sight and I’d been back in A&E twice. I was absolutely terrified. I was also scared to go outside – I know it sounds pathetic but it’s true.

“In terms of the police investigation I just feel pretty shocked really. But then I keep hearing from other people who have had similar experiences. My impression is they just aren’t interested unless it’s an easy collar, they’re not interested in communication, and they have very little empathy as well. Two officers told me it was awful what happened but most haven’t been that bothered.”

At the time the police issued a witness appeal which indicated that the man left the scene and went up Eastgate Street towards The Cross.

He is believed to be aged between 25 and 35, white, tall, with a round clean shaven face, short blond hair and a muscular build. He was wearing dark coloured clothing.

PC Courtney Day, of Chester Local Policing Unit, said: “This man has committed a violent, unprovoked attack on a woman who was alone sitting on the steps.

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting IML 564418 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.