Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Journalist Badly Beaten in Mugging; Hunt for Vicious Attacker Who Left Christine Facing Surgery

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Journalist Badly Beaten in Mugging; Hunt for Vicious Attacker Who Left Christine Facing Surgery

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

A JOURNALIST is facing surgery after a "vicious and unprovoked" assault in Newcastle city centre.

Christine Harle, a sub-editor with The Journal, was attacked in the underground car park in Fenkle Street at about 1.20am yesterday after leaving work.

She suffered serious facial injuries after being attacked by a man who stole her bag. Despite her injuries, she managed to get to her car and lock herself in, but spent more than an hour drifting in and out of consciousness before being able call for help.

Miss Harle, 50, who lives in Northumberland and has worked for The Journal for more than 20 years, was last night said to be in a stable condition in Newcastle General Hospital.

Last night Det Insp Lee Buzzeo said: "This was an horrific and vicious attack which was completely unprovoked and particularly violent.

"Her attacker seems to be have been hellbent on inflicting injury before taking her bag. We think he may have fled in the direction of Westgate Road before going down Pink Lane.

"We're currently progressing with CCTV footage and hope to release images, including a photograph of a bag identical to the one which was stolen.

"We would also appeal for anyone with information or who saw anything suspicious before or after the attack to come forward."

Miss Harle eventually managed to contact Journal colleague George Macintyre for help on her mobile phone. He said: "I got the call at about 2.50am and initially thought it was a wrong number. But after about 20 minutes I managed to hear her voice very faintly and I could only make out a few words."

As well as calling the emergency services, Mr Macintyre also called local taxi firm Noda, as he knew they worked in the area and could get there quickly.

Taxi driver Steve Houlahan, 48, a company director at Noda, was first on the scene at about 3. …

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