A man has described the moment he found a badly injured woman thanks to help from his two pet Labradors.
Steve Hillier lives in Brunswick Village, Newcastle. He was out walking his dogs on the morning of Friday, March 11 when he noticed they were both acting strangely.
Their actions led him to discover a woman who had been the victim of a suspected assault. The incident and today’s police investigation has left the quiet village shocked and horrified.
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Police received a report of concern for the welfare of a woman in the Aged Miners Home area of Brunswick Village shortly before 6.20am on Friday morning. It was reported that the woman had suffered a number of non-life threatening injuries following a suspected assault and she was taken to hospital.
Northumbria Police have launched an investigation and a 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent. He remains in custody at this time.
Steve said: “We left the house and went straight into the field on the morning, at about six o-clock. They were sniffing around with their heads down and their tails up.
“One of the dogs started barking – I thought it must have been a deer, so I shooed them along. As soon as they had done their business, they went home.”
Steve, who has lived in the area for nine years, was about to head home himself. But he sensed something may be wrong, so he returned to the area which his dogs had been interested in.
He continued: “I went back to where they had been sniffing and barking and managed to get through the branches. There’s a sort of half-fence down there and I looked over it and saw a woman lying on her side. It was freezing.
“She turned her head and I saw it was swollen and all puffed up. That’s when I rang the police and the ambulance.
“The police told me not to touch her and asked me to get her some blankets, so I came back to the house to get them. She might have been out there all night, she was lucky there was no frost – I wouldn’t have liked to have been out there.
“It was all a bit of a shock – I wasn’t expecting to find anybody there. If it wasn’t for the dogs sniffing and barking I wouldn’t have found her. At least she was found and now she can be looked after.”
Throughout Saturday, police officers have been on the scene of the incident, which has been cordoned off to the public. Officers in full forensic suits have been combing the area searching for evidence.
The suspected assault has shocked the local community. Resident Amy Cooper said: “I saw it on Facebook on Friday at around 11pm and then this morning we came through and saw it all.
“It is so scary. My step-daughter is here on weekends. I’ve lived here for three years, and this is just horrific.
“It doesn’t bear thinking about. I’m just waiting to find out who it is and if I know them.”
Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “We’re just shocked really. We don’t expect anything like this to happen here.
“I take my dog there every day, I’ve lived here for five years. People walk this way all the time on those fields.”
Another said: “I walk here every day, I’ve lived here since 1994 and had no problems. It’s scary,” and added she no longer wanted her daughter walking in the area.
A spokesperson for the police said: “Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20220311-0149.”
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