A Belfast teenager has spoken of her horror after being mugged by a 10-strong gang of men - and is now fearful of walking alone at night.
Emily Borland (19), a shop worker, was violently pushed to the ground during the assault in the Four Winds area of south Belfast after she got out of a taxi in the early hours of Wednesday morning to go and visit her boyfriend.
She thought she was on the right street, but in fact was a few streets away, and had to walk the rest of the way. That was when her ordeal began as she was approached by the gang of thugs.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, she said she feared a black eye was forming after the attack, and she was also left with scratches to her face.
Her clutch bag, containing nothing of value, was the only thing stolen, although the muggers thought she may have had a mobile phone. When the thieves realised the only thing in the bag was a hairbrush, it was tossed into a garden and later found.
Now Emily is advising other young women to take care when walking alone late at night.
She said: "I was coming from a night out from a friend's house and a taxi left me off around the corner from my boyfriend's house.
"I thought I was on the same street, but was in fact a few streets away so I had to walk.
"I then came across a group of about 10 guys in their late teens and early 20s.
"It was around 3.30am and they asked me for a smoke, but I walked on and they then said "give us your phone".
"I tried to run away, but was pulled back and knocked to the ground. I am still shaken by it, it was a very frightening experience. I probably will have a black eye and I got my face scratched, but I feel lucky as it could have been a lot worse.
"The gang looked a bit rough and I don't think they were from the immediate area. I now feel afraid to go out on my own at night and my message to any other young women is to think twice before you walk alone late at night."
Police in Castlereagh are appealing to the local community if they saw anything suspicious in the Newtown Park/Cleveley Park area between 3am and 4am.
A PSNI spokesperson said: "A woman was assaulted in the area by an unknown group of men. The female received injuries that are not believed to be serious. Enquiries are continuing."
Police in Castlereagh are appealing for information on the 101 number or alternatively phone the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.