A WOMAN who was attacked by a knife-wielding gang has spoken of her ordeal for the first time.

The 20-year-old from South Woodford, who does not wish to be named, was rushed to hospital with head injuries and severe bruising after she was badly beaten by a group of at least seven youths after returning home from a night out in Hainault last weekend.

Her boyfriend and two others friends, who were with her at the time, were also injured, but were lucky to escape from serious injury when at one point a gang member started to lunge at them with a knife.

The woman, who is now recovering at home, spoke to the Guardian this week in an attempt to encourage witnesses to come forward.

“It all started when we were walking along Fencepiece Road, right outside the Maypole Pub,” she said.

“We noticed there were three girls, aged about 17, shouting at us from across the street. They were saying that we shouldn’t be there and it was their territory.

“We tried to ignore them and carry on walking, but they came up to us and started shouting. We argued with them for a bit and then this big group of guys came round the corner.

“Some of them had baseball bats and I could see light reflected on a knife. I was really scared.

“They started kicking and punching me. I couldn’t see much of what was going on with my friends but my boyfriend got most of the baseball bat. I think I came out of it the worst though.

“I fell to the floor and saw them all high-five each other as they walked away.

“After it happened a lot of people came running out of their homes. I think the baseball bats scared them from coming out when it was going on.”

The woman now says she will never return to the area, for fear of further reprisals.

“We’re all a bit shocked by it all. There’s so much of it all going on but you don’t expect it to happen to you,” she added.

Her mobile phone and handbag, containing around £30 in cash, were also stolen.

Redbridge Police are urging any witnesses to the attack, which happened at around 3.20am on Sunday August 31, to contact them on 8345 2635 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.