Two teenage girls have been jailed for a shocking shopping centre attack that left a man's face broken in 42 places.

Niamh Hughes sobbed to her family "don't let them take me" as she was jailed for more than three years.

She appeared in court alongside friend Laura Albrektaite.

The two girls launched their attack after their victim, Johnny Nath, threw Albrektaite's shoes into the lake outside the popular Lakeside shopping centre as 'banter'.

He was punched to the ground by a male friend of the two girls before they repeatedly kicked him in the head, Essex Live reports.

Since the attack Mr Nath, has lost his sense of smell, can't eat solid foods and is often asked if he has had a stroke due to the permanent damage caused.

Laura Albrektaite was jailed for the attack

The attack was captured on CCTV and Hughes even took a photo of Mr Nath, lying on the ground and covered in his own blood, before leaving the scene.

At a sentencing hearing at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday, prosecuting barrister Cyrus Shroff told the court that rather than walking away, Albrektaite, who was 17 at the time, and Hughes, 18, started to kick him repeatedly in the head.

When they eventually stopped their attack, Hughes returned and took an image of Mr Nath lying on the floor.

When the girls were stopped by security, Albrektaite, of Shannon Way, Aveley, reportedly asked them to let her go as it could 'ruin her life'.

The pair were both arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm at the scene, later pleading guilty. 

Mr Nath can't remember the chronology of events from the evening, the court was told.

In a statement read out to the court, he said that he had been on a night out and was waiting for a friend to pick him up.

The next thing he remembers is a friend standing over him saying that he needed to go to hospital.

A security officer at Lakeside found Mr Nath lying on the floor with blood 'pouring' from his nose and mouth.

In total, he suffered in excess of 42 facial fractures, including both eye sockets, his cheek bones, jaw and skull.

The attack took place at the Lakeside shopping centre in Essex

The court heard he has been left with blurred vision, ringing in his ears and he has lost his sense of smell and his jaw is misaligned.

He said: "I need this to stop. It's difficult to live with.

"I have a lack of self confidence, I don't like people near my face or looking at my face. 

"People ask if I have had a stroke. I hate the face I have, I don't recognise it in the mirror."

Mr Nath also described how he gets flashbacks of the attack and how he has been driven to drinking and smoking more than he used to.

Both defendants and their families cried while watching CCTV of the attack.

Representing Albrektaite, Michael Warren re-iterated that his client was just 17 at the time of the attack.

He told Judge Lodge about domestic trouble in her life since she was young, however said that she accepted responsibility for what she did. 

He said: "She is going in to this term of punishment in the hope she can emerge better for it.

"She understands that she needs to suffer because of the events.

"She feels embarrassed for what she did to the victim and the long-standing impact this will have on her."

Representing Hughes, of Central Avenue, Aveley, Jide Lanlehin described how she had a very supportive family who have been greatly upset by what has happened.

He said: "The defendant is very distressed that she finds herself here.

"She feels absolute sympathy for the victim and takes nothing away from him.

"She is not someone who always goes out or is known for causing trouble. This is not someone that the court will see again in these circumstances."

Handing the pair immediate sentences of more than three years each in a Young Offenders' Institute, Judge Lodge said that it was 'absolutely clear' what had happened.

"At the end of what should have been a pleasant evening for everybody, there was clearly some sort of banter on the boardwalk outside of Lakeside," he said.

"This is a case where the camera cannot and does not lie."

Judge Lodge described the incident as a 'brutal attack' on a 'defenceless man', adding: "Almost every bone in his face was broken. Every single one of his senses remains affected.

"He could do nothing about it. You attacked and attacked again."

As he locked them up for three years and four months each, both girls began to cry and shake their heads in the dock, while members of the girls' families screamed in court.