Police renew appeal nearly 20 years after woman was savagely attacked by knife man in Norwich
- Credit: Bill Smith - Archant
It was a vicious crime that shocked a city and left one woman's life hanging in the balance.
Julie Cooper was so savagely attacked by a knife man that she suffered serious facial bone breaks, had her right cheek cut to the bone and had several teeth knocked out.
The culprit stole her handbag and left the victim for dead following the brutal daylight attack on a footpath near County Hall in Norwich.
That Norfolk Police did not have a murder enquiry on their hands was largely down to the skill of medical staff who carried out a nine-hour operation after the incident.
That was nearly 18 years ago and today, on the cusp of the anniversary of the attack on August 15, 2000, a new police appeal for information has been launched.
Andy Guy, from Norfolk Constabulary's cold case team, said: 'Eighteen years have now passed since Julie was attacked and I still strongly believe there are local people who know who was responsible for an unprovoked, savage assault.
'Only fortune and the skill of medical professionals prevented this attack from being a murder enquiry.
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'It may be that individuals who may not have been prepared to come forward and talk to us at the time, feel more confident in contacting us now. I would like to hear from anyone who could give us information that would lead to the police prosecuting the person responsible and giving Julie the deserved closure to this part of her life.'
Mrs Cooper, who was 28 at the time of the attack, last spoke out about the incident in 2013.
She said: 'I was in a bit of a hurry as I was a couple of minutes late. I came on to the footpath and was attacked.
'The next thing, I was waking up in hospital with knife wounds to my face, shoulder and arms and had undergone a nine-hour operation to rebuild my face – they had to rebuild my face from top to bottom and put dental implants in.'
She said she has tried not to think about what happened to her, but still had terrible memories of the effect her injuries had on her family.
Mrs Cooper supported our previous reappeal because she wanted to stop it from happening to anyone else.
Information to police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.