No-one who knows the African crime-rate will be surprised
A YOUNG Adelaide woman has lost an eye and narrowly escaped permanent brain damage after she was stomped on with a stiletto shoe during a vicious assault in a popular city nightclub.
The attack was believed to have been sparked after the 25-year-old victim accidentally stepped on another girl's foot in the women's toilets of the West Tce venue during an African-themed Rugby Sevens party last month.
The victim, who would give only her first name, Tash, has described how she thought she was going to be killed as up to four women of African descent bashed her in what she maintains was an unprovoked attack in the early hours of March 21.
The retail worker said she was bashed and knocked to the ground in the toilets at about 3am by a group of women, before one stamped on her face - plunging her stiletto heel into Tash's left eye, missing her brain by millimetres.
"I remember getting smashed (on) either the sink or the hair-dryer and (I) went straight to the ground," Tash said. "They were kicking my face and I remember the heel going in, I felt the heel going in. "I was basically three millimetres away from permanent brain damage - the heel went in 23mm."
She said she could not think of anything that may have provoked the attack but recalled she may have stepped on the foot of one in the group when she entered the toilet.
The western suburbs woman later underwent 90 minutes of surgery at Royal Adelaide Hospital but doctors could not save her sight. Her eye was removed on March 26 and she will shortly be fitted with a prosthetic eye.
The incident was reported to police but Tash said she believed her attackers were from interstate, complicating the task of identifying them.
Three days after the attack, HQ applied to the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner to trial a six-month lockout banning people from entering the venue between 3am and 8am, to tackle alcohol-related crime. It is understood the application was not related to the assault. HQ licensee Rod Rose could not be reached for comment.
Details of the incident emerged after the Sunday Mail last week reported on a surge in crime among young women, including a 40 per cent increase in assaults.
The viciousness of the attack has left Tash shell-shocked. She said she is now too scared to go out at night and wears sunglasses every day to hide her disfigurement. "It's not human (what they did), especially females," she said.
"I've never heard of something so vicious . . . I had a feeling I was going to die; as soon as I tasted my own blood, I thought `I'm gone'.
"It's awful out there; I'm scared in years to come people are going to start carrying guns into clubs."
Tash said she was "trying to be strong" despite her life-changing ordeal but desperately wanted justice over the attack. "They (the attackers) don't deserve to live a happy life; I don't know if they realise what they have done . . . maybe they have done this before," she said. "I have my down days; it took me a week to cry after I got out of hospital, I was just really angry.
"I would really like to speak to anyone else who has gone through what I have."
Tash's mother said nothing could justify what the women had done to her daughter. "Hopefully they get a conscience and give themselves up, and somebody who knows them does the right thing and reports it to the authorities," she said.
"She's got a strong family unit supporting her and good friends; she's got a battle in front of her but she's a fighter. She's not going to bury her head in the sand and will carry on the best way that she can."
Eastern Adelaide CIB Senior Constable Christian Ruckert said police were appealing for anybody to come forward, as CCTV footage seized from HQ had offered no leads.
"This was a pretty brutal attack and I've never heard of anything like this before," he said. "You don't expect females to do that to each other; blokes glass each other but you don't expect this from girls."
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