THE blossoming career of a young Dublin model, who was viciously assaulted on a night out, hangs in the balance as a result of the attack.
Baiba Engele (24), who is originally from Latvia but has been living in the country for six years, has been left traumatised after an unprovoked attack outside a nightclub in Newry, Co Down, at the weekend.
She was repeatedly kicked in the head, stomach and ribs by two women, who also beat her with their high heels.
After she was found bleeding on the side of the street, she was rushed to Daisy Hill Hospital in Derry before being transferred to Dublin's St Vincent's Hospital and is now recovering at her home.
Although the motivation behind the attack is still unclear, the blonde beauty suggested it could be racially motivated.
"I was at the nightclub celebrating a friend's birthday and these two girls began picking on me, I have no idea why, only they can answer that.
"I don't know if they were jealous or if it was racial or what the problem was.
"After the nightclub closed we were outside and all of a sudden they came up behind me and attacked me." Ms Engele said that the girls began taunting her in Bed nightclub, even pulling her hair several times throughout the night but it wasn't until they left the venue that the girls launched a full-scale attack where she was kicked in the head, stomach and legs.
But it's not just the physical injuries that have left a mark on the aspiring model, it's the emotional scars as well.
"I have never been attacked like that or kicked in the head," she said. "It was very traumatising and I still can't get over it.
"Both my ankles and legs are very sore. I can't really walk that much. My head was swollen at the back and was quite sore. I had headaches. My ribs at the back were also sore. I was kicked in the ribs. It was very scary. I don't feel safe."
A PSNI spokeswoman confirmed a woman in her 20s had been attacked outside a nightclub in Newry during the early hours of Sunday. A 23-year-old woman appeared at Newry Magistrate's Court on Monday charged with assault and disorderly behaviour. The charges were withdrawn and she received a caution.