A woman has told of her terrifying ordeal after a brutal attack which saw her and her partner knocked out in the street – all over a cigarette lighter.
Stacey Berry, 35, and partner Tanya Allen, 27, had been enjoying a night out in South Shields when they were set upon by two women and a man.
Both needed hospital treatment for head injuries after the attack, which took place outside Trocaderos bar, in Prince George Square.
Police are appealing for those who may have witnessed the incident, on Saturday morning at about 2am, to come forward.
Mum-of-one Stacey, who lives with Tanya in Westoe Crown Village, said: “A man and two women approached Tanya asking for a light, and she said she didn’t have one.
“I was a few steps behind her and, in the blink of an eye, she was face down on the floor, having been knocked out, and she was bleeding.
It was absolutely disgusting – the worst thing I’ve ever been throughStacey Berry
“I ran over to try to protect her, and the man repeatedly kicked us both in the face.
“They used my face as a football. All I could see were trainers coming towards my face.
“It was absolutely disgusting – the worst thing I’ve ever been through.”
Both were left with facial injuries including a bust lip and a black eye, while Stacey also suffered a suspected broken nose and a swollen face.
Stacey, who works in sales, added: “We were merry, but not drunk, and had just decided to walk home after a good night out.
“There was no reason for them to attack us.
“I really hope they are caught before they get the chance to do it to anyone else.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “At around 2am on the morning of Saturday, March 25, police received a report of an assault at Trocaderos bar in South Shields town centre.
“Two women had been approached by two women and a man at which point they have been assaulted.
“They both suffered minor injuries during the incident.
“Officers attended and carried out a search of the area to find those responsible but they had already left the scene.
“Inquiries to identify them are ongoing and police are now appealing for any witnesses to the assault to get in touch with police.
“Any witnesses, or anyone with any information about the assault, should contact officers on 101 quoting log 108 25/03/17, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”