A woman experiencing homelessness in Liverpool has recounted the terrifying moment a "big guy" tried to force his way into her tent to attack her.
Julie Boathe, 43, was resting inside her tent which was pitched outside St John's Shopping Centre opposite Lime Street Station when her attacker tried to force his way inside at around 8.20pm on Sunday, October 2.
She had been living on the streets for eight months with her boyfriend Lee Wells after his grandparents had to sell their home, which they shared, and move into assisted accommodation, reports Liverpool Echo.
READ MORE: Desperate family left homeless after returning from Dubai as tenant 'refuses to leave'
When the man first poked his head through the tent, initially Julie thought he was just saying hello.
She said: "I thought he was just being friendly at first, when he put his head in. I said I was fine. The next moment, he was on his hands and knees trying to push his way in.
A petrified Julie pleaded with him to leave her alone and tried to fight back, however was easily overpowered by the aggressive stranger.
She said: "I said please, please don't come in, please stay out there, just leave. He just wouldn't go. I was trying to push him away, but he was such a big guy. I just had to scream for help."
Liverpool Echo reporter Wesley Holmes witnessed the incident and came to Julie's help, after being alerted by her screams.
"I heard Julie before I saw her as I walked past the shopping centre – a woman's voice screaming "help!" and "leave me alone"," Wesley recalls.
"I stopped and noticed the shaking tent, with a man's lower half sticking out the door as he tried to force his way inside.
"I ran over, and shouted "leave her alone", followed by "what did you do to her?" as the man shuffled backwards with a furious look on his face. Quite quickly I gathered some idea of how things might progress, as his aggression towards the woman coming out of the tent behind him was turned on me instead.
Brits have just one day to spend old £20 and £50 banknotes before they expire
"I put my arm up like a barrier as he advanced on me, red-faced, swearing. By now, the scene had caught the attention of two more passers-by, both young men, who tried to calm the man down – with little effect."
Wesley added that the scene looked like it was going to turn ugly, however after a few lingering moments, the man walked away from the area as he swore and slurred.
Wesley then called for the police and waited for Lee to return and she felt safe to be left on her own again.
When Wesley returned to Lime Street the following night to check up on Julie, she told Wesley the police had only turned up that morning.
Julie said that she was frightened by the incident, which she replays repeatedly in her mind.
Woman with world's longest nails swerves salon for 22 years – and struggles in loo
She said: "I can't get it out of my head. I still can't believe it happened. I wonder, if nobody came, what would have happened to me? That's what I ask myself over and over. What would he have done to me?
"You can't sleep properly on the streets. You might go to sleep, but you're still aware of the things around you. I can't remember the last time I had a proper sleep.
"When something like that happens, I understand that people don't want to get involved. But it shouldn't be happening."
To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.
- Police discover 'underground bunker' at homeless camp with guns and £85k of stolen goods
- Landlord made homeless mum-of-five sign 'sex contract' to put roof over kids' heads
- 'Homeless' woman transforms £1 house into beautiful dream home
Source: Read Full Article