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