A young carer has told how she was stalked by a hooded thug and then punched in the face as she walked home after a night out in Herne Bay.
Kellie Gater, 24, relived the early-morning attack in a bid to catch her attacker, who left her battered, bruised and terrified to leave her house.
She heard footsteps following her as she walked towards a friend’s house from the town centre at 3am on February 1.
Kellie Gater was assaulted on Kings Road
Kellie, who works at the St Brelade’s care home, said: “I was out with my friends on the night at Vivid and left when it was time to go.
“Because my friends live in opposite directions I walked on my own.
“I think he started following me from South Road. I could hear footsteps behind me. I kept looking around and he was there.
“At first I thought it was probably just some poor bloke trying to get home. But at King’s Road he stopped me. He said ‘excuse me, could you tell me where the train station is’. He sounded really drunk.
“I was polite and gave him directions to get there. He turned round and asked me ‘are you coming with me?’ I said ‘no thank you, I have got to be somewhere else in the morning’.
Kellie has suffered as a result of the attack in Herne Bay
“I was distressed. I’m usually the one who walks friends home, but suddenly I had no idea who this man was. I didn’t recognise him.
“He went, but then turned round to me and said ‘you are coming with me’.
“I was quite polite about it and said no. Then suddenly he punched me in the face.”
Kellie, of William Street, Herne Bay, suffered a black eye and bruised cheek from the attack, and reported it to the police last week.
“I don’t really like being out in the dark at the moment. If I hear someone behind I’m paranoid that someone will hit me or start on me" - Kellie Gater
She added: “I was diagnosed a few weeks ago with depression. This has knocked it up and I’ve had to up my tablets.
“I haven’t been out. If I have even just gone out to the pub I have got a taxi or if I have had to pop down to the shops I have had to phone someone.
“I don’t really like being out in the dark at the moment. If I hear someone behind I’m paranoid that someone will hit me or start on me.
“I’ve been completely paranoid about everyone. I’ve not been like myself. I would like to ask him why. I don’t understand as I was polite to him. It’s not as though I swore at him or was rude to him.”
The attacker is believed to be in his 30s, 5ft 7in with a local accent. He was wearing a black hooded top.
Anyone with information can call PC Darren Dennett on 01227 868267 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting crime reference ZY/3612/14.