Saturday, 1st November 2014

Nursery nurse from Bridgnorth forced to play dead during attack.

A nursery nurse from Bridgnorth today revealed how she was forced to play dead during a terrifying assault on a footpath in the town.

Katey Wall feared she was going to die as Matthew Atkins punched her repeatedly during the assault and banged her head on the pavement.

She revealed how she pretended to stop breathing to fool Atkins and bring the random assault to an end.

Atkins, 25, of Mount Pleasant Road, Dawley, Telford, admitted unlawfully and maliciously wounding Miss Wall with intent to do her grievous bodily harm on July 30 last year.

Judge Peter Barrie, sitting at Shrewsbury Crown Court, adjourned the case on Tuesday for reports and further psychiatric evidence, until March 13. Atkins was remanded in custody.

Miss Wall, aged 24, speaking after the hearing, described how she had been out for the night and had decided to walk home from the Crown pub along a footpath known as Hospital Walk – as she had done many times – at about 2.30am.

Miss Wall, of Bridgnorth, heard footsteps and someone put a hand over her mouth.

“I started panicking and screaming and that is when he started attacking me, punching me. It was mainly in the head several times.

“I was struggling and he had his hand over my mouth and the other hand over my nostrils. I was still trying to shout.

“I fell to the floor and that is when he started hitting my head on the pavement. I thought he was going to kill me.”

The former Bridgnorth Endowed School pupil, who works in Shrewsbury, said: “At one point I pretended to stop breathing because I thought he might run away. That is when he had his hand over my mouth and nostrils.

“Then I gasped for breath and he carried on getting more violent and angry.”

She said eventually she noticed Atkins had gone but when she tried to get up she fell back to the floor.

Miss Wall needed nine stitches to a cut on the back of her head and had suffered numerous cuts and bruises, as well as concussion.

Miss Wall also needed counselling to help her to get over her ordeal. She said she had walked the route she had taken before many times without any problems and it usually took her 15 minutes to get home.

Miss Wall said she had not known her attacker and it had been a random assault.

She said she was glad Atkins had pleaded guilty to the offence and was relieved she had not had to go through a trial if he had denied the offence. Miss Wall said she wanted to warn other girls not to walk home on their own after what had happened to her.

She said of the attack: “I felt terrified. I was not really angry.

“ I was guilty about what my family was about to go through.”

Lisa Rowley