A YOUNG woman has been left scarred for life after being attacked by a man after a Christmas night out with friends.
Chloe Dutton, 19, left Talk nightclub with two friends and went for a takeway near Southend bus station when she became aware they were being followed by a man.
After he was told to stop pestering the women, the man rounded on them, knocking two of them to the ground before punching Miss Dutton in the face with what is thought to be a knuckleduster.
The Kent University student needed emergency plastic surgery to a gash from her eye to her cheek and faces further operations on a broken eye socket.
Miss Dutton, of **removed kc** Drive, Westcliff, who is studying social work, said: “I went out with two girlfriends on Boxing Night.
“We realised we were being followed.
The man kept trying to separate me from my friends. My friends told him I wasn’t interested and to go away, but he started attacking them. He got them on the floor and kicked them several times, then he attacked me.
“The police and ambulance were called, but the ambulance didn’t come. The police took us to hospital. The wind was blowing on a huge gash from my eye to my cheek, so my friends asked if I could sit in the police van. Blood was pouring down my face.”
Miss Dutton said neither she nor her friends knew the man.
She added: “I had to wait five hours in A&E and they transferred me to Broomfield Hospital, in Chelmsford. I had to have plastic surgery and didn’t leave hospital until Sunday night.
“I have to go for a CAT scan.
They said the man must have used a knuckleduster to do so much damage and that I will be scarred for life.
“I might have to have more surgery on the broken eye socket, which will leave more scars.”
A police spokesman said: “We were called at 2.10am to reports an Asian man assaulted a woman and her friends.
“The women reported they were walking through town when he began speaking to them.
“They asked him to stop as they didn’t know him and he assaulted them.
“One girl was badly injured and has a fractured eye socket. A police vehicle took them to hospital.
Anyone who saw what happened or who may have seen this man earlier is asked to contact Southend CID on 101.”
The man is described as Asian, aged about 25 and wearing a black jacket, jeans and a grey hat.
An ambulance spokesman said: “We were told to stand down as the police were going to take the patient to hospital. The call was coded with a response of 30 minutes.”
The spokesman confirmed an ambulance hadn’t been sent by the time time they were told to stand down.