Victim of a horrifying ‘gang initiation’: This young woman was clawed in the face by a female attacker as she walked in the park
- Leanne, 22, may be left with permanent scarring after the unprovoked attack in Southend, Essex
- Three men kicked her legs and body as she lay on the floor before fleeing with her bag
- Officers issue an e-fit of the attacker they are hunting following the ‘unjustified and disgraceful’ incident
By ROB COOPER
PUBLISHED: 10:59, 15 June 2012 | UPDATED: 12:43, 15 June 2012
This shocking picture shows how a young woman’s face was savagely ripped apart by a female gang member as part of an ‘initiation ceremony’.
The victim, named only as Leanne, 22, was set upon as she walked alone through a park in Southend, Essex.
She was dragged to the floor by her hair before the crazed attacker repeatedly scratched her fingernails down her face.
Three men kicked her in the legs and body as she lay in a bloody mess before fleeing with her black Nike bag.
Police fear the attacker targeted Leanne as part of an initiation process for a gang responsible for a recent spate of street robberies in Southend, Leigh and Westcliff, Essex.
She has released this bloodied picture of herself to help police catch the woman and the gang of four men she was with.
The incident happened as she was walking through Southchurch Park, near Woodgrange Drive, Southend.
Leanne, who lives in Southend, was so traumatised that when she called 999 she was unable to even give them her surname.
A passer-by comforted her until police and paramedics arrived, and took her to Southend Hospital for treatment.
She could now be left with permanent scarring. Police have also released an e-fit of the woman attacker.
Southend Inspector Matt Bennett said: ‘There seems to be a completely unnecessary level of violence that’s quite horrific.
‘There’s no reason why this level of violence has been used, it was totally unprovoked.
‘There are theories as to why this happened – maybe somebody tried to prove themselves to the gang, but that’s only a theory at the moment.
‘Whatever the motivation, it’s thoroughly unjustified and disgraceful behaviour.’
Leanne was robbed of her bag containing £62 cash, a gold chain, store cards and documents.
The woman who led the attack was thought to be in her early 20s, about 5ft 1in tall, either tanned or of mixed race with dark-coloured hair in a pony tail.
She wore a grey tracksuit, and would have had blood all over her trousers.
Three of the men with her were black, and the victim described them as aged about 25.
One was wearing a red hooded top and the others had black hoodies. One of them had a red bandana over his face.
A fourth man helped drag the woman to the ground. He was white, in his 20s, skinny and wearing a black jumper.