Paralysed mum’s year of horror

Claire Hilton at Newcastle Crown Court where Christopher Towers was being sentenced for an attack which left her paralysed. Photo credit: Tom Wilkinson/PA Wire
Claire Hilton at Newcastle Crown Court where Christopher Towers was being sentenced for an attack which left her paralysed. Photo credit: Tom Wilkinson/PA Wire
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THE family of Claire Hilton have told of their daughter’s continued torment 12 months on from the one punch attack which left her paralysed.

The 29-year-old was drinking with pals in the Wheatsheaf pub, in West Boldon, last year, when an argument over a spilt drink ended in tragedy.

Mum-of-one Claire was followed out of the pub and attacked by Christopher Towers, leaving her with a broken neck, which snapped in three places, and a broken back.

Towers, 24, of New Road, Boldon Colliery, was jailed for three years and seven months – a term that the family are still angry with.

Claire’s dad Paddy, 57, of Downhill, Sunderland, said: “The sentence he got was terrible, within six to 12 months he will probably be out. Claire is left with the consequences.”

A year on from the assault Paddy and wife Janice said Claire – mum to 12-year-old Callum – is struggling to cope.

Paddy said: “It has just been horrendous, that’s all I can say. On Friday she said ‘one year ago I was getting ready to go out, now I cannot even get myself ready.”

The attack left former Boldon Comprehensive pupil Claire in intensive care for a month and she now needs 24-hour help from family, friends and carers.