BRAVE mum Claire Hilton has pledged to never forgive her attackers for “destroying her life”.
The Echo yesterday revealed how the 29-year-old was left paralysed when her neck was broken after being savagely beaten in a row initially triggered by a spilt drink.
Since the brutal assault in June, the courageous mum-of-one was determined she would be in court to face her attackers and give evidence, despite being wheelchair-bound.
On Monday, Christopher Towers, 24, of New Road, Boldon Colliery was due to stand trial at Newcastle Crown Court on a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
But before a jury could be sworn in, Towers pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm.
Miss Hilton was dealt a further blow when Towers was bailed by the court judge allowing him to spend Christmas with his loved ones.
The former Sunderland telesales worker said: “I hate him. He has ruined my life and he hasn’t even been remanded in custody.
“I always said even when I was lying in hospital I wanted to be in court to give evidence.
“I did have the option of giving video evidence but I wanted to be there. I wanted him to see what he has done to me.
“I was so nervous before the trial but I was determined I was going to give evidence and then he pleaded guilty – I was devastated.
“Seeing them in court brought everything back, how my life was like before this, I couldn’t hold it back in court – I hate him so much for what he has done.
“I am so annoyed. He never even looked at me in court – to see what he has done to me. I am in a wheelchair because of what he has done. And all over a spilt drink.
“It wasn’t even a pint, there was a mouthful in the glass. We even offered to buy another one.”
Towers, of New Road, Boldon made no eye contact with Claire during the 10-minute hearing and was told to be back in court on January 6 to be sentenced for the attack on her and a second assault on Hugh Anderson, who had tried to help her, which he also admitted yesterday.
Towers’ co-accused Kelly McKone, 30, of Stanhope Road, South Shields, had already admitted an assault on Claire that same night at an earlier hearing.