A MOTHER feared she was going to be killed when she was beaten "black and blue" by a group of youths with a crowbar in a homophobic attack outside a pub.

Lauren Garrison was enjoying a night out with her friends when she was called a "dirty d***" and a "tr****" by a gang of 13 youths outside the Three Fishes pub in Chapel Road, Worthing on Monday.

After confronting the group of ten boys and three girls, the 28-year-old was attacked with a crowbar, leaving her unconscious.

The mother-of-one suffered a concussion and fears she may be left with permanent damage after bursting a blood vessel in her eye.

The Argus: Lauren was left with a burst blood vessel in her eye Lauren was left with a burst blood vessel in her eye

During the incident, shocking slurs were aimed at the 28-year-old, including claims that trans people "should be shot".

Speaking to The Argus, she said the attack could have killed her, leaving her son on his own.

Lauren, who is cisgender and attracted to both women and men, said: "They were being verbally abusive to me and making homophobic comments.

"They called me a tranny and said 'oh look there is another dirty d***'. They then said they should be shot.

The Argus: The attack caused bruising and swelling on her faceThe attack caused bruising and swelling on her face

"As soon as I walked out that pub, I was knocked out. They hit me with a crowbar and Hooch bottle - I was hit twice.

"The first one I sort of remember, which was with the bottle that rolled down and didn't smash.

"The second time was straight in front of me, a crowbar to my eye and I passed out.

"I vaguely remember pushing myself up against the window of the Three Fishes and struggling into the pub.

"That is when someone went 'oh my god, has anyone seen her eye?'.

"Even talking about it makes me emotional. My son could have been on his own."

Before the attack, Lauren enjoyed dinner with a group of friends amid the easing of lockdown restrictions

Lauren and her friends decided to stop off at the Worthing pub after the meal, a decision she now regrets.

She added: "I am in shock of it all. I am just trying to carry on - that is all you can do.

"It has really affected me. I used to love to just going to the pub for a drink or getting some food with my little boy after he finished nursery but it has completely thrown me now.

"I am now always questioning myself 'what if I see them again?'

"It is all a bit scary".

Lauren said the attack, at about 10.15pm, was completely unprovoked.

Sussex Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

The Argus: Lauren fears the attack could have killed herLauren fears the attack could have killed her

A spokesman said: "Police are investigating a report of a 28-year-old woman being assaulted by a group of youths in Chapel Road, Worthing around 10.15pm on Monday.

"The suspects are understood to have made homophobic comments to the victim during the assault.

"The victim suffered a minor facial injury.

"Enquiries are underway to trace those responsible, and officers are keen to speak with anyone who may be able to assist with the investigation.

"Anyone with information or who witnessed what happened is urged to report it online or call 101, quoting 1593 of 17/05."