A woman mugged outside her Blackpool home following a night out says she has been left feeling violated and shocked by the attack.
Jemma Gough, 29, was left with a black eye and injuries to her face and hands in the incident, which happened in the early hours of Sunday morning.
But she knows her ordeal could easily have been worse and is warning other women never to drop their guard.
The car dealership employee had walked home after enjoying a night out with friends in Blackpool town centre.
It was as she spoke on her mobile phone, outside her house less than a mile away, that her attacker struck.
“I’d walked home from town,” she said.
There are side streets and alleys in which anything could have happened to me
“It was my choice and not the brightest decision I’ve made.I’d got a little emotional and I was talking on my phone.
“Somebody has come up behind me.He’s grappled with me and grabbed my bag.
“I’ve ended up with a swollen cheek, a black eye and an injury to my hand.But I know it could have been much worse.”
The attack happened at 2.20am on Sunday.
The area was all but deserted at the time and Jemma, a former pupil at Palatine High School, knows her attacker could have had a far more serious motive.
“Anything could have happened,” she said.
“There are side streets and alleys in which anything could have happened to me.
“As it is he’s struggled to get by bag because I was on my phone, I think that’s how I’ve ended up getting hurt because I didn’t intend to struggle.”
The experience has left Jemma scared to go out.
“I feel violated,” she said.
“I’m wary of going outside by myself.
“I am responsible, independent and in a moment of weakness I feel I was taken advantage of.
“It is not just my property that has been taken it is my confidence. My mother heard my screams, my neighbours too. One seemingly small incident had much bigger consequences.
“I wear my bruises in shame and I feel judgement as I walk down the street.
“I don’t know what the long term impact will be but in the short term my work, my family and my abilities have been affected.
“It happened so quickly, I had no time to react.”
And she has a clear message to other women in the same situation. “I guess I want to tell people what happened to me so they don’t make the same mistake,” said Jemma.
“Just don’t take the risk.”
A Lancashire Police spokesman said officers were called to Jemma’s home street, which The Gazette has agreed not to publish, at 2.30am on Sunday.
They confirmed a woman had reported being approached in the street and had her handbag, containing around £40 taken, sustaining face and hand injuries in the process. Jemma was unable to get a clear view of her attacker.
She said: “You wonder when you read about crimes how people don’t get a good look. But all I saw was a dark hood, it was over so quickly.
“Now I know how hard it is, it’s the only description I can give.”
Police are still investigating and anyone with information can call 101 quoting log number 147 of May 1.