Mother still left haunted by attack in Sunny Hill Park, Hendon

This Is Local London: Mrs McHugh needed three stitches after the attack Mrs McHugh needed three stitches after the attack

A mother left mentally and physically scarred in a brutal attack says she still feels “haunted” by her ordeal.

Betty McHugh was sitting on a bench with her husband James in Sunny Hill Park, Church End, Hendon, just after midnight on November 23 when a man approached them.

Before she had the chance to react, the attacker lunged towards her and slammed her face into the bench, leaving her with severe head injuries.

The 55-year-old lost a lot of blood and needed stitches to the side of her face, and spent three days recovering in Barnet General Hospital.

She said: “I was dazed. I didn’t realise what was going on at first, it all happened so quickly. It was all such a blur.

“My heart skipped a beat. I can’t tell you how frightening it was. It was a lot to process. I could have died - I keep realising how lucky I am to be alive.

“The side of my face is still very badly scarred from what happened. It’s a horrible sight to have to see.”

Mrs McHugh, a retired government worker, lives in Virginia, in the US and was visiting her nephew in England with her husband.

She had previously been looking forward to a quiet Christmas with her family - but said the ordeal had left her in bad spirits.

She added: “When I try to leave the house now, I get overcome with a feeling of dread. I can’t leave. I’m a prisoner now.

“I’ve been left both mentally and physically scarred by this brutal attack. I still feel very shaken up by it.

“It was an awful nightmare and I wish I could forget about it - but I can’t. It haunts me.”

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