A former South Tyneside College student who was left permanently scarred by a vicious knife attack says it has ruined her life.
Katie Charlton was one of two people slashed by Stephen Thompson following a dispute at a party at his home in Boldon Colliery in January.
Thompson, 27, was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday for five and half-years after he admitted charges of wounding, wounding with intent, possession of a bladed article and possession of cannabis.
But 10-months on Katie still bears the scar on her face which she says constantly acts as a reminder of the night which has ruined her life.
The once outgoing student who was studying care at South Tyneside College describes herself as a shell of her former self.
After discharging herself from hospital, she locked herself in her Westoe home only allowing her parents to come and see her after time had passed.
Before this I was at college studying care, but I dropped out. I had to. I couldn’t face leaving the house - this has ruined my life.Katie Charlton
The 22-year-old said: “I don’t remember much of the attack. I just remember having my hair pulled, then I saw the blood and I collapsed.
“The last image I saw was Stephen standing over me then I woke up in the RVI.”
Katie suffered a 10cm-11cm laceration from her left cheek to her chin, and needed to have more than 30 stitches in her face and left shoulder.
She says she also underwent a blood transfusion.
“When I came round the doctors told me to prepare myself for when I looked in the mirror, but I just couldn’t do it,” she said.
“It took me ages to finally look in a mirror. When I did all I wanted to do was to lock myself in at home.
“I left the hospital, went home and refused to let anyone see me and I wouldn’t go out.
“It took me weeks before I would let my parents and grandma come to see me.
“I’ve had to learn to talk again and eat again. I’m trying but really struggling to accept this scar.
“Since it happened I have become a different person. I am more agitated and more angry with myself.
“Before this I was at college studying care, but I dropped out. I had to. I couldn’t face leaving the house - this has ruined my life.”
Katie added: “I’m so angry and I don’t think the sentence is enough as he will be out in half. It’s unfair.”
Thompson, of Charles Street, Boldon Colliery, was also given a life-long restraining order.