A TEENAGER left shaken and injured in a racially aggravated attack has spoken out about her ordeal in a bid to bring those responsible to justice.
Hayley Aldridge was enjoying a night out in Hitchin with a friend and two cousins, but it all ended in disaster when she was set upon in an unprovoked attack.
The 19-year-old was left needing hospital treatment at Lister, suffering bumps and bruises to her head, neck and shoulders as well as a potential nose fracture.
Miss Aldridge, who was dragged into a doorway and kicked in the head by a woman, also says she was verbally racially assaulted.
“She came towards me and started shouting. I was a bit shocked by it all,” the Letchworth GC resident told the Comet.
“All of a sudden, my cousin was moved out the way and someone grabbed the back of my hair and smashed my head into the floor, and dragged me to this doorway. She kept kicking my head – I have never felt pain like it.”
Miss Aldridge, a university student, managed to free herself and run away from the incident which happened in the High Street, near Cafe Rouge, at about 3.15am on Sunday.
It is believed a pair of women – described as Asian – were involved and it is alleged one of them swore and used racist slurs.
“I go into Hitchin every Saturday night. I’ve never had a fight, never caused trouble, and that people go out to do that was more of a shock than anything,” said Miss Aldridge.
“She was so aggressive – I was trying to get her off me, but I’m not an aggressive person. I couldn’t get up.
“She made reference to my colour. I don’t know why she did it. I wasn’t shouting abuse at her. My family haven’t brought me up to be racist. If you are born in this country, you are English. You could be green or purple, it doesn’t matter what colour you are.”
She added: “If you have done it, or know who did, just come forward. You can’t leave someone with injuries like that. They should not be allowed to get away with it.”
At the time of going to press, no one had been arrested in connection with the incident, but police are investigating.
A spokesman for Herts Police said: “This was an appalling incident which has left the victim shaken and with some nasty injuries. I would urge anyone who may have been in the High Street area of Hitchin prior to, or after the incident took place, to contact police immediately.”
Anyone with information can call the non-emergency police number 101, quoting crime reference number G1/13/1341, or alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.