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Woman paralysed after pub fight

A young woman has been left paralysed after a row over a spilt drink.

Claire Hilton suffered a broken back and neck after falling against a dry stone wall outside a pub 200 yards from her South Tyneside home.

The mother-of-one is alleged to have been beaten to the floor then kicked in the stomach moments after her cousin accidentally knocked a £2.80 drink off a table in the Wheatsheaf pub in West Boldon, South Tyneside on Saturday night.

Witnesses heard telesales worker Miss Hilton, 28, shouting: "I can't move my legs. I'm paralysed."

Paramedics took Miss Hilton to South Tyneside District Hospital, where surgeons inserted plates around her injured spine. But hours later doctors had to tell her parents Paddy, 56, a floor layer, and Janice, 52, she was paralysed from the neck down and may never recover.

The row is alleged to have started after Miss Hilton's cousin, Lauren Mould, 19, knocked over a drink with her bag. Miss Mould apologised and an argument broke out, but she left. Miss Hilton, who is said not to have been involved in the original argument over the drink, was allegedly set upon along with Miss Mould as they walked home.

Describing the moment she rushed to the scene of the attack, Miss Hilton's sister Sam, 24, told the Daily Mirror: "She was shouting at me, 'I am paralysed, I am paralysed, I cannot move'. It was terrible, she knew straight away what had happened to her."

Miss Hilton, who has an 11-year-old son, Callum, with partner Dieter Turgoose, 35, is a former Boldon Comprehensive pupil from West Boldon.

Christopher Towers, 24, of Boldon Colliery, is charged with grievous bodily harm with intent, two counts of actual bodily harm, one count of common assault and affray. His girlfriend Kelly McKone, 29, of Jarrow, and Lynn Margaret Flaherty, 46, of Boldon Colliery, thought to be the mother of Towers, are charged with assault and affray.

The three appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates, who committed the case to Newcastle Crown Court. All three have been bailed until June 27.

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