A former Apprentice contestant has been left with broken cheekbones and may have lost most of the sight in one eye after being violently beaten in the street in London by two men who tried and failed to steal her mobile phone.
Elle Stevenson, 25, who appeared in series 11 of the Lord Sugar-fronted show in 2015, was left bloodied and battered in Charing Cross by a pair of thugs who lay in wait for her, after a friend denied them the chance to run off with her phone.
She was left with severe facial injuries including broken bones in her cheek which will require plastic surgery, and also suffered severe damage to one of her eyes which means she may have lost most of her sight in her left eye.
But the 25-year-old, from Windsor in Berkshire, said she feels deeply let down by police, who have refused to review 90 minutes of CCTV footage from a McDonalds CCTV camera which Ms Stevenson believes would help identify her attackers.
Former Apprentice contestant Elle Stevenson, 25, was attacked after denying thieves the chance to steal her phone in London
The reality TV star posted shocking photos from hospital of the extent of her injuries
Businesswoman Ms Stevenson described the terrifying assault near Charing Cross station, which came at the end of a Christmas party.
‘They battered me,’ she said.
‘One man went behind me and pushed me and the next thing I knew my face went forward and was met with two punches.
‘I was smacked squarely in the face – I feel like they tee’d me up.
‘He punched me on my cheek and fractured my cheek and I have damage to my eye socket.
‘I can’t see out of that eye at the moment and I have to wait for all the swelling to go down before doctors will be able to see if my eyesight has been affected permanently.
‘My memory has been affected and I am getting confused which has left me feeling really vulnerable. My dad is having to drive me everywhere and I feel like a 12-year-old.’
She said not knowing whether she would regain full eyesight was a ‘scary thought’ but that she was still having tests and x-rays, adding: ‘I have been told I will need plastic surgery because the doctors are very concerned about the fractures on my cheek bones.’
After 24 hours in St Thomas’s Hospital in London the construction company manager is now being cared for by family and friends and has not been able to go back to work.
Ms Stevenson was with a friend when she was attacked in the early hours of Sunday December 16. The pair had decided to extend their Christmas partying and go to nightclub Heaven.
As they sat on some steps after leaving the nightclub, two men approached them and spoke to them.
Ms Stevenson said: ‘We just ignored them and I thought one had put an advertising flyer in my lap.
‘Then someone said “that man’s just taken your phone” and I couldn’t believe it but he had. It must have been a slight of hand or something.
‘My friend sprinted after them shouting that they were thieves and grabbed the phone back. She got it but pulled it out of its cover.’
After the foiled theft the women went to McDonalds for something to eat but upon leaving the eatery saw the men again.
‘My friend started shouting for people to be careful and that the thieves were back.
‘One man then came around behind me and shoved me in the back and as I fell forwards I was hit in the face twice by another man.
‘Everything then went quiet and I went to the floor. I realised it was quite bad when I felt blood pouring down my face.
‘A group of five girls came to help me and took me to the police station nearby and an ambulance was called and I was taken to hospital.’
Ms Stevenson, whom Lord Sugar fired in the sixth week of The Apprentice in 2015, poured scorn on the police’s failure to investigate the pre-meditated assault.
She said this morning: ‘I rang the police a couple of days after and was told the file had been closed.
‘I couldn’t believe it and asked why and they said that there was CCTV from a nearby McDonalds but they did not have the time or resources for someone to look through an hour of it.
‘It is horrific. If these men can beat a woman like this – innocent girls on a night out – and get away with it.’
She went on: ‘I feel very let down by the police. I work really hard, pay my taxes and for my whole family its just work work work.
‘I’m not blaming an individual or the police per se but this has really affected my life and these guys are out there and there is a chance it was on CCTV but no-one has the time to look at the CCTV even though I could pinpoint the time it happened.’
She said she did not know whether witnesses had been contacted and had the McDonalds receipt which would narrow down the window of time in which the assault happened.
She said she was considering making a complaint to the Metropolitan police after consulting with Victim Support.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police, when asked about why no action was being taken to view CCTV of the attack on the young woman, said: ‘The CCTV cameras in McDonalds did not cover the area where the offences took place.
‘Since the two women were unable to provide a time at which they entered McDonalds – and they stated that they would not be able to identify the suspects if they saw them again – officers spoke with the victim and explained that there was insufficient likelihood of suspects being identified to warrant analysis of around 90 minutes of CCTV footage from McDonalds.
‘Any new information – including further details from the victim as to the time that she was in McDonalds – will be investigated.’
The attack left her having partially lost the sight in her left eye and needing plastic surgery for broken bones in her cheek
Ms Stevenson’s eye remained blackened and bruised after doctors treated her injuries
Shocking images taken in hospital show the extent of her injuries with blood streaked down one side of her face and her left eye blackened and half-closed.
The 25 year old, who lives near Windsor in BErkshire, said she had directed police to CCTV footage at the scene of the London mugging.
But she said she had been told by officers they cannot investigate further because they do not have the resources to trawl through an hour’s video footage.
On the show Ms Stevenson said: ‘I hate anything mediocre. I can’t be middle… I’ve never been the person that comes second’
Elle Stevenson pictured in happier times. She said police have refused to review CCTV of her attack
Ms Stevenson, who at 21 was the youngest contestant in her cohort, survived til week six of the reality show.
She cited Taylor Swift as her business inspiration, calling her ‘the best businesswoman of the 21st century.’