A woman acting as a peacemaker outside a pub was left permanently disfigured when a teenager bit off part of her ear.

Amy Bruce, who survived the Manchester Arena bombing, was having a quiet drink with friends when they had the misfortune to encounter drunken Sophie Watson.

Miss Bruce and Elizabeth Brown decided to leave the pub in Winlaton, Gateshead, following a disturbance and were waiting for a friend to come out from the toilet when Watson became paranoid they were laughing at her.

Go here for the latest crime news and breaking North East police updates

Newcastle Crown Court heard Watson, intoxicated on alcohol and cannabis, marched over to them and dragged Miss Brown by her hair, swinging her around and to the ground before punching her.

Others, including Miss Bruce, sought to intervene to stop the attack and Watson latched onto Miss Bruce's ear and bit a small portion off.

Not content with that, she then challenged bystanders and went on to spit on the face of a female police officer after being arrested.

Now Watson, 19 at the time and 21 now, of Red Barns, Newcastle, has been jailed for three years after she was convicted by a jury of wounding with intent, assault by beating and affray. She also pleaded guilty to assaulting the police officer and possessing cannabis.

In a victim impact statement, Miss Bruce said the attack and severe delays in the case had caused her a huge amount of stress.

Despite excellent work by medics to fix the wound, which needed 11 stitches and glue and left cartilage exposed, Miss Bruce is struggling the cope with the injury.

She said: "It couldn't be re-attached and my ear will never be complete for the rest of my life.

"I really struggle to come to terms with how I now look and couldn't face looking at my reflection. I've tried to overcome this with help from my family and friends."

Miss Bruce said she feels a weight has been lifted since the conclusion of the case.

She added: "This has been one of the most traumatic events of my lifetime, only second to the Manchester Arena bombing, which I was present at. I was just starting to cope with that when this happened.

"I will have to live with the deformity for the rest of my life."

Judge Tim Gittins said Miss Bruce deserves a public apology for delays in the case, caused by the heavy workload in the justice system, exacerbated by Covid.

Miss Brown suffered grazes and lumps and bumps to her head.

Penny Hall, defending, said: "She had a chaotic lifestyle at the time of the offending but has worked hard to turn her life around."

Miss Hall said she was on the ground and as people tried to restrain her when she bit the ear.

Miss Hall added that Watson, who had mental health issues. had looked after her two younger siblings since their mum died, has a young child of her own and is now pregnant again.

She said professionals speak highly of the way she has looked after the children.

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest crime and court news in the North East