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Former officer says victim was lucky to survive knife attack in 2000

PUBLISHED: 08:42 13 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:40 13 August 2020

Julie Cooper after the knife attack in 2000. PIC: Norfolk Police.

Julie Cooper after the knife attack in 2000. PIC: Norfolk Police.

Archant

A former police officer involved in the initial investigation into the brutal slashing of a Norwich woman almost 20 years ago has described how the “staggering” viciousness of the attack has stayed with him ever since.

Julie Cooper talks to the press on the 20th anniversary of the attack, which left her with life-threatening injuries. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJulie Cooper talks to the press on the 20th anniversary of the attack, which left her with life-threatening injuries. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The attack on Julie Cooper left the then 28-year-old with serious facial bone breaks as well as her cheek being cut to the bone after the attack on August 15 2000 on Europa Way, near to County 
Hall.

A former officer in his 50s who worked on the initial investigation, but did not want to be named, said he hoped Mrs Cooper would get the justice she deserved following the launch of a major reappeal.

He said: “It was pretty brutal to be quite honest. The viciousness of the attack was quite staggering - it was really frenzied, really brutal. She was lucky to have survived.”

The former officer worked in the police for almost 30 years and said he struggled to recall another attack like that.

Julie Cooper back at the scene of the horrific attack off Europa Way, and with Detective chief inspector Andy Guy. Photo: Bill SmithJulie Cooper back at the scene of the horrific attack off Europa Way, and with Detective chief inspector Andy Guy. Photo: Bill Smith

He said: “It was someone who either had mental health problems or someone who had built up to that. You don’t just pop out one day and decide you’re going to carry out an attack like that.”

As a result of enquiries, the ex-officer said one individual became a person of interest after having been previously arrested in Norwich.

He said: “He had a sister-in-law, who in a bizarre coincidence, was called Julie Cooper.

“I can remember him being arrested in Norwich city centre at some point for possession of a crossbow.

Julie Cooper cover 08092000Julie Cooper cover 08092000

“His name cropped up in the enquiry and was looked into at the time but he killed himself in a Glasgow hotel room.

“But we could never link him forensically.”

A Norfolk Police spokesman said: “We are aware of that line of enquiry which was explored in the original investigation.”

The former officer said he just hoped, despite the time that had passed, that whoever was responsible might still be caught.

Scene of the horrific attack on Julie Cooper in August 2000 off Europa Way.
Photo: Bill SmithScene of the horrific attack on Julie Cooper in August 2000 off Europa Way. Photo: Bill Smith

He said: “First for Julie herself and secondly for everyone else. We desperately want to bring this person to justice as they shouldn’t be walking the streets.”

Information to police on 01953 423819.


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