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Woman who fended off knifeman and took photo that helped snare him talks about ordeal

A schoolgirl who fought off a knife-wielding sex attacker and used her phone to snap a photo police used to snare him has spoken out after winning an award for bravery four years after the horror happened.

Alexandra Muresan was just 15 when she was attacked by Nathan Rawson in February 2019 as she was walking to school in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

He was brought to justice using Alexandra’s photos, who feared she would be “killed or raped.”

Footage of him standing in a field on a cold winter morning was circulated by West Yorkshire Police as part of an appeal and eventually led to his arrest.

Alexandra, now 19, received a bravery award from the police for her actions, which led to a 13-year prison sentence for Rawson.

And the brave teen says that while she was a “little bit scared” to go out alone after the incident, it has now “boost her confidence.”

Recalling the horror incident, she said, “When he came to me I saw the handle of his knife and I grabbed it and started pulling.

Alexandra Muresan managed to take a photo of her attacker Nathan Rawson (pictured), allowing the police to catch him

Alexandra (pictured), now 19, received a bravery award from the police for her actions, which led to Rawson being jailed for 13 years

Alexandra (pictured), now 19, received a bravery award from the police for her actions, which led to Rawson being jailed for 13 years

Alexandra (pictured), now 19, received a bravery award from the police for her actions, which led to Rawson being jailed for 13 years

Photos she took helped police identify Rawson, who was given an extended sentence of 13 years and eight months at Leeds Crown Court last May

Photos she took helped police identify Rawson, who was given an extended sentence of 13 years and eight months at Leeds Crown Court last May

Photos she took helped police identify Rawson, who was given an extended sentence of 13 years and eight months at Leeds Crown Court last May

“There was so much adrenaline – my whole body was shaking. I don’t know why – it immediately came to mind and I just did it.

“I did rugby for two years, so I finally managed to get it off him.”

Photos she took helped police identify Rawson, who was given an extended sentence of 13 years and eight months at Leeds Crown Court last May.

At the time, the court heard that Rawson assaulted the girl as she was walking through fields near Torre Close, Burmantofts, on February 15, 2019.

The victim was listening to music on her headphones when he walked over and grabbed her waist. He then showed the girl a knife and ordered her to come with him.

Rawson forced her into the bushes with him, then shrugged her shoulders.

Fearing she would be killed, the girl grabbed hold of the knife when she saw the handle of the knife protruding from his clothing.

There was a struggle and the teen cut her hand on the gun but managed to take it from him and ran away.

He pleaded guilty to kidnapping, wounding, possession of an assault weapon and two unrelated counts of burglary.

Alexandra added, “I don’t even know how to describe how I felt after it happened.

Rawson (pictured) had grabbed Alexandra by the waist, showed her a knife and forced her to walk with him to a wooded area

Rawson (pictured) had grabbed Alexandra by the waist, showed her a knife and forced her to walk with him to a wooded area

Rawson (pictured) had grabbed Alexandra by the waist, showed her a knife and forced her to walk with him to a wooded area

“It’s not really something you see every day.

“My mom and dad were obviously very worried about me, but they did everything they could to help.

“They wanted to take me to therapy, but I’m not the type to talk a lot and go to therapy.

“At first I was a bit afraid to go out alone, but at the same time, as I got older, I got more confident.”

Alexandra has now received an award from West Yorkshire Police in the Leeds District Awards for her bravery during the terrifying attack.

She said, “It was a fun night – but it was nerve wracking because you had to go up on stage to collect your prize in front of everyone.”

Her certificate read: “In recognition of your brave actions on February 15, 2019 when you were confronted by a man who tried to kidnap you with a knife.

“You managed to disarm the man despite a knife wound and got images of him on your phone, which led to the quick apprehension of the perpetrator.”

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