Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

'Anti-English' punch hurts woman

Lucy Newman before and after the attack
Lucy Newman's face was transformed by the attack

A young woman was left with serious facial injuries after an allegedly anti-English attack in Aberdeen.

Lucy Newman, 22, of Gourdon, near Inverbervie, was attacked close to the Trinity Centre on Union Street in the early hours of Saturday.

She told BBC Scotland a man made racial remarks relating to her English accent before punching her in the face.

The attack left Ms Newman, who moved from Cheltenham about 15 years ago, with a fractured cheek bone.

She needed treatment at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and fears she may have suffered lasting eye injuries.

Ms Newman said: "A few things I say sound English.

"But no-one has ever hit me because I am English."

Grampian Police said the "despicable" attacker had been aged between 27 and 30 and was of medium build, with dark hair.

Sgt David Forsyth said: "Whilst this is clearly a despicable act, it is still unfortunately not uncommon for racially motivated incidents to take place. Very often these incidents occur during the evenings when alcohol has been consumed.

"Where sufficient evidence exists that an incident had some racial motivation to it, those responsible will be charged with a racial offence in addition to any other matter.

"Grampian Police is aware that many victims do not report such incidents to the police or other public bodies.

"But it is important for them to know that we, and our partners, have dedicated support staff in place throughout Grampian who can, in addition to any criminal enquiry, provide practical and ongoing support to the victims of such incidents."

He added: "Victims can come from any ethnic group or nationality and I would encourage anyone subjected to such behaviour to reported it to the police. It will be treated seriously and thoroughly investigated."

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