Natalie Howes, 22, was viciously assaulted by another woman on a night out in Weymouth
A woman has revealed how she was left scarred for life after being attacked with a stiletto by a complete stranger.
Natalie Howes, 22, was viciously assaulted by another woman on a night out in Weymouth in June 2014 after asking for some cigarette paper.
But as she walked away, the stranger struck Natalie on the head with her stiletto shoe, leaving her face gushing with blood.
The assistant restaurant manager, from Kingswinford, West Midlands, needed five internal and five external stitches after the assault and has been left with a 4cm scar on her right eyebrow.
But her attacker escaped punishment and received just a caution.
Natalie said: ‘It’s horrendous that I was attacked with a weapon and the woman just got a slap on the wrist.
‘She was intent on hurting me.
‘I’ve now been left scarred for life and she got away scot-free.’
The assistant restaurant manager, from Kingswinford, West Midlands, needed five internal and five external stitches
Natalie, then 18, was enjoying a night out with her then-partner in Weymouth in June 2014.
She says: ‘We were having a great time and decided to pop outside for a cigarette at 11pm.
‘I realised I’d ran out of paper to roll a cigarette so I approached a nearby group of girls and politely asked if I could have some paper.
‘But one of the women told me to f*** off.
‘I was taken aback by their rudeness as I could see they were so much older than me.
‘I said there was no need for that and walked away.
‘As I made my way down the street, I heard footsteps behind me.
‘Suddenly, I was whacked on the side of my face. Blood gushed over my top.
‘I tried to protect myself with my hands but the woman kept slashing at me.
‘I could see it was the woman who had told me to f*** off.
‘I realised she’d taken her stiletto off to attack me.’
Natalie was pulled to safety by her ex and his friend.
She said: ‘I was pumping with adrenaline so didn’t feel the pain until I’d walked away.
‘My ex took a photo of my face to show me my injuries and I was horrified to see a huge gash on my face.
‘He called an ambulance and, an hour later, paramedics arrived to take me to Dorchester Hospital.
Ms Howes has been left physically and emotionally scarred from the attack
‘There I had five internal stitches and five external stitches to the deep gash on my face.
‘The doctor said that it was only one cm away from blinding me. It was terrifying.
‘I looked as if I’d been slashed with a knife.
‘I was determined to get justice for the unnecessary attack.’
The next day, Natalie reported the assault to the police.
She says: ‘They found the girl who attacked me, I’m assuming from CCTV, and took her in for questioning.
‘But a few days later, an officer told me that no further action was being taken and she was let off with a caution.
‘I couldn’t believe it.
Natalie, then 18, was enjoying a night out with her then-partner in Weymouth in June 2014
‘She ran at me with a stiletto already in her hand – in my mind, that counts as a weapon.’
A year on from the attack in March 2015, Natalie received £2,500 in compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
She says: ‘Although the money helped, it doesn’t change what happened.
‘I would much rather have never been hurt and left with an awful scar than have the compensation.’
And Natalie has been left physically and emotionally scarred.
She said: ‘My confidence has been affected due to the scar – I feel as though people are staring at it.
‘Customers ask me at work how I was scared and it makes me self-conscious.
‘I try to hide my scar with my hair or sunglasses when I go out.
‘I’m still happy to go on nights out – I didn’t want what happened to change the way I live my life.
‘I only hope that the woman who attacked me hasn’t hurt anyone else.’
Dorset police said: ‘Dorset Police received a report of a fight in the area of St Mary Street and Bond Street in Weymouth shortly after 12am on 20 June 2014.
‘Following enquiries by officers, a 27-year-old woman attended for a non-custodial interview and received a caution for an offence of assault.’