Brave rape victim Lucy Walsh today spoke out as an investigation to net a third man accused of attacking her continues.
Lucy, from Leyland, is reeling from appeal judges’ recent decision to reduce the 16-year jail terms of, Mohammed Ibrahim, now 24, and Rezgar Nouri, now 27, to 12 years on appeal – meaning the rapists will be free in 2017.
Now she is determined to see the third suspect, Kurdish national Araz Latif Najmaden, 22, arrested.
She said: “The reason I’ve waived my anonymity is to publicise his picture as much as possible so he can be caught.
“I am a home girl and love being at home with my family but I had to emigrate because I couldn’t cope.
“It is a life sentence for me and my family.”
Lucy had been out with her brother and his friends on June 26, 2011, in Preston, but decided to stay out when they left The Loft nightclub, because she knew people in there.
She left at around 4am and walked down Fishergate to get a taxi from the train station.
The last thing she remembers is reaching Debenhams.
CCTV shows a gang approaching her. A short time later she was taken to a flat where she was brutally attacked. She remembers waking up in the dirty flat to find herself being pinned to the floor.
Over the next two hours, all three men took it in turns to attack her.
Lucy, who was seriously injured during the attack, was finally thrown out on the street.
She started crawling towards the train station on her hands and knees.
At Preston railway station a security guard ignored her and a taxi driver refused to help her.
Lucy said: “It felt like no-one wanted to help me.”
But Matthew, a 21-year-old who had been out with his friends and who she calls “her hero”, came to her aid.
While his friends told him “just leave her, she’s drunk”, he refused and stayed with her, comforting her and calling the police.
Her mum Kay, 50, said she believed Lucy had come home with her brother until police knocked on the door of their farmhouse at 7am.
She recalls: “I heard Jack and his friends come back and thought she was with them.
“My husband Ian answered the door and the moment I heard male voices, I knew something had happened.
“I walked into the front room and Ian looked grey. The detective said they were investigating a ‘possible sexual assault’ and I said, ‘What are you saying?’
“When he added she needed some shoes, I said, ‘Oh my God, she’s been raped’.”
Lucy was taken to the SAFE Centre to be examined. Kay said: “She was covered in bruises from being dragged and held down, some which only came out weeks later. She looked like a 90-year-old woman.
“But before she could go home she had to be taken back to the scene to identify the house. She was begging to go home.”
Lucy helped police identify a flat with a green door.
The tasks began of telling family and friends what had happened, including Lucy’s grandmas.
Kay said: “I was driving to Burnley to see my eldest daughter, but instead I drove back to that flat. The police were already there and it was taped off. I was so angry – if they had not have been there I would have killed them with my bare hands. I would not tell my husband where it was for the same reason.”
Lucy, who now works as a nanny in Canada, says: “I’m lucky I have a close family, I can’t imagine what it is like for victims who don’t. I would probably be dead in a gutter somewhere.
“I turned to drink and drugs. I was in self destruct mode, playing chicken with my life. I blamed myself.
“I have no doubt he will be caught – they have his name and fingerprints and DNA; it’s just a case of finding him.
“The police said it is like a needle in a haystack which is why its important people look at his picture.”
She added: “It’s not just a life sentence for me, it’s something that affects the rest of the family.
“At the time it was reported I met them and went back to the flat with them. That was not the case at all. I didn’t know them. But even if I had it doesn’t justify what they did to me.”
The men were seen confronting two other women before Lucy, but they managed to brush them off.
They were also seen watching girls in various clubs in Preston and Lucy believes they may have been watching her before the attack.
Anyone with information on Araz Latif Najmaden should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.