A mother was left covered in blood as her horrified children watched as a thug smashed a window and threatened to burn down her house in a row over £30.
Carla Beevers, from Hartlepool, had refused to pay the cash after men removed waste from her garden without a final agreement or discussion about the fee.
After a confrontation on the doorstep of her home with a man who refused to accept £15, she closed the door, but a second later, a metal brush was thrown through a window, leaving the 28-year-old bleeding and with glass in her eye.
Dog Bella was also covered in shards, with Carla’s three youngsters left screaming after they witnessed the ordeal.
The incident followed a series of calls by two men claiming to be from a waste removal business.
They had taken two bags of rubbish and a piece of carpet from the garden of her home in Wingate, where she has lived for a year, while she was out before demanding payment.
I wasn’t scared one little bit or threatened by him because I’ve been through worse, but I was worried about my kids.Carla Beevers
Carla, who is mum to Maci, six, Amelia, four, and Riley, two, said: “I wasn’t scared one little bit or threatened by him because I’ve been through worse, but I was worried about my kids.
“They were coming down the stairs and if they had come down a couple of seconds later, they would have taken the impact I did from the window.
“The first thing I did after it happened was to check the kids and the dog.”
The attack happened at around 4.15pm on Thursday, and it is thought a number of men are involved in the gang and had visited the area a number of times, claiming to be from a waste collection firm.
Carla, whose boyfriend Aarron Harris, 23, was asleep upstairs at the time of the attack, was taken to Peterlee walk-in centre for treatment by police.
She has had one of her wounds glued together and is due to be checked by Sunderland’s Eye Infirmary.
Detectives from Peterlee CID are investigating and anyone with information is asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.