A part-time model has been left blinded in one eye and scarred after being punched in an unprovoked attack.
Katrina-Kay Hayward, 22, suffered serious injuries when she was set upon while walking home with two friends after a Halloween night out.
The trio left Play nightclub, Mill Street, in the early hours of Saturday, November 1.
After seeing the long queues for a taxi, they decided to walk to Miss Hayward’s home by taking a short cut through the Castle Mound area.
As they walked towards The Embankment, they saw a group of two men and two women on the path.
Miss Hayward said she and her friend, Jess Cook, 21, walked one side of the group, while their male friend walked the other side. When he asked if it was the best route to take, the men in the group turned on him and punched him to the ground.
Miss Haywood said: “I pleaded with them to stop and told them there was no problem but I got punched to the floor.
“I put my hands to my face and my arms got covered in blood.”
Miss Cook, who was not injured in the incident, said the group appeared to be bantering with each other, and did not look threatening.
However, she added, the men sounded drunk as they turned on the three friends.
She said: “It all happened so quickly and I was in shock. I heard my friend’s head hit the floor and was making sure he was OK, when I realised what happened to Katrina.
“Eventually, the group ran off and we waited for the police to arrive.”
Miss Hayward and her friend were taken to A&E where she was told she had three fractures to her face, and was given stitches in a cut over her right eye.
She cannot see out of her right eye, and doctors warned her sight may not return.
Despite his beating, her friend suffered minor cuts and bruises.
Miss Hayward has taken the brave decision to share her story on social media in the hope people will come forward with information.
She has posted photos of her injuries on Facebook which have been re-posted by users in Bedford and beyond. She said: “It’s already been shared more than 2,000 times, 80 per cent of that is by people I don’t even know.
“I have had a lot of support from people, as well as some nasty comments, but I hope it will help catch the people who did this.”
Miss Hayward returned to her bar job the next day and said her injuries are making work extremely difficult. She said: “I am not sleeping well, and it is hard to adjust to being partially blind, but I have bills to pay. I need to work.”
A Bedford Police spokesman said: “The attack happened at about 4am on Saturday morning.
“Anyone with any information about the attack, or who saw anything suspicious in the area, should call us on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”