What was supposed to be a fun evening out with a pal turned into a terrifying ordeal for a teenage girl who was battered in the street in front of crowds of people, who did nothing to help her.
Jessica Waters from Pitstone was left with bruising and swellings to her head after she was dragged to the ground, kicked and punched by two 13-year-old girls at the Tring Christmas Festival on Friday.
Even though there were more than 8,000 people in the town centre and a crowd in the vicinity of the attack, most people turned a blind eye to the brutal assault.
The 14-year-old’s family was shocked by the attack – and the lack of action by onlookers.
Her grandfather Ralph King said: “Dozens of the good people of Tring stood and watched while she was beaten senseless.
“A stallholder, who could see that no one was doing anything, rushed from his stall and grabbed the two assailants who were still punching and kicking.
“What does this say for Tring? Two 13-year-olds, and the general public cowed to silence and inactivity. The elderly stallholder deserves a medal.”
Seconds later two police officers arrived and although the attackers ran off both were caught.
Jessica was taken to the police station where paramedics tended to her injures.
Her dad Phil said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got the call.
“I was upset because she went out to have a nice time and that happened.
“Tring is supposed to be a nice place.
“When I saw her at the station she was in tears and she told while she was being attacked she wanted to cry but couldn’t – I felt the same way.”
The violence is believed to be connected with schoolgirl bullying.
Her family came to the Gazette with their story in the hope of raising awareness of the issue, and the cruel consequences it can have.
Mr King said: “I just want it to stop and it would be nice to have a specialist in bullying to talk to these girls.
“I said to Jessica: ‘What sort of life are your brother and sisters going to have if we don’t do something?’
“The girls need to be punished and it needs to be known that things like this are happening here.”
Police spokesman Olivia Finucane confirmed that the incident was being examined by Hertfordshire officers and was being treated as a potential common assault.