'I was petrified' - Mum-of-three has lip bitten by man in unprovoked attack
PUBLISHED: 18:30 12 September 2019
WARNING: Graphic content - A 24-year-old woman has been left with bloodied and swollen lips after a gruesome unprovoked attack by an unknown man in Ipswich town centre.
Lauren Ashton had been out in Ipswich with her friend on Saturday, September 7, leaving the Distilled Republik bar in the early hours of Sunday morning, between 1am and 1.30am.
But when walking towards Foundation Street, the pair were approached by a group of three men who are said to have flirted and attempted to kiss them, which they "laughed off", thinking it was men "trying their luck and getting rejected".
They would later find out one man's intentions were far darker as he began following them.
"When I noticed he was behind us, I just had this feeling," Miss Ashton said.
"So we walked across the car park and he continued to follow, that's when I knew and all fear set in for me.
"When we first confronted him, he stopped still and waited for us to carry on before then following us again, so we tried to run across the grass towards the probation centre but took a turning too late and came across a wall."
It was then that the man grabbed her friend by the waist, prompting calls of desperation and Miss Ashton to call the police.
The man then pulled Miss Ashton by her hair and bit her lips before running away.
She added: "In the moment it happened, I was petrified.
"It was so sudden and surreal I honestly thought he'd completely bitten my top lip off. When he let go and I fell to the floor I was in a complete panic."
Miss Ashton, who had previously been attacked in 2014, said the ordeal in Rosemary Lane has affected her mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder.
She said: "I won't be going out in Ipswich at night again, I already suffered with going out at night which has took me so long to overcome and now I can't even bare the thought of trying to do that again.
"I'm going to try my hardest when I've managed to get the right mental support to not let this defeat me."
Suffolk police confirmed they are investigating the incident.
The suspect is said to be around 5ft 10in tall with short black hair, between the ages of 21 and 25 and wearing a white top with jeans and a brown jacket. He is believed to be of eastern European origin.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact South CID on 101, quoting reference 37/54147/19.