A FORMER world gravy wrestling champion feared she was going to lose her sight after her ‘best friend’ hit her in the face with a wrench during a three-on-one horror attack.

Elisa Sampson, 32, a web manager and experienced kick boxer, was left with her eyeball hanging out after being struck by laundry worker Sabina English at their shared apartment in New Line, Bacup.

Violence erupted during a drinking session involving the friends when Miss Sampson caught English and Paul Greenwood having sex on her couch.

When she protested English, her brother Amjad Hussain, and Greenwood all turned on her, Burnley Crown Court was told.

Greenwood grabbed her by the throat while Hussain repeatedly punched her. Then English picked up a wrench and hit her friend in the face with it.

Speaking after the case, Miss Sampson said: “Despite being a former gravy wrestling champion and somebody who goes to kick boxing classes I just couldn’t defend myself.

“The whole attack just took me by surprise. It was like a red mist had fallen on all three of them.

“I remember my head being smashed against the bedroom wall and having something hard smashed into my face, which later I found out was a wrench.”

The court heard that the victim needed 17 stitches to repair the damage to her eye and even now had problems with her sight.

Forced off work for eight weeks, she was grateful for the support of friends and family while she recuperated.

She added: “After the attack I could feel my eye ball resting on my face. I stumbled out of my flat and knocked on a neighbour’s door who helped me back into the flat and called the ambulance and the police.

“I was so lucky I didn’t lose my sight.”

She moved out of the shared flat and is now starting to rebuild her life - though she is still taking anti-depressants daily.

“The hardest thing about the whole attack was that they were my friends, I was supposed to be able to trust them,” added Miss Sampson, who works for Famous Footwear in Bacup.

Today English, of Cutler Crescent, Stacksteads, is beginning a two-year jail sentence after admitting causing grievous bodily harm.

Hussain, 27, of Blackwood Court, Stacksteads, was jailed for 12 months but he has spent six months on remand.

Judge Jonathan Gibson also imposed a two-year restraining order on the pair, preventing them from approaching the victim or entering Bankfield Street, Stacksteads.

Greenwood, also from Stacksteads, who admitted assault, was jailed for three months at an earlier hearing.

English’ barrister Ken Hind told the court that Miss Sampson was able to fight back to some extent, with ‘devastating consequences’ for his client.

The victim was ‘not somebody who is not able to handle herself’, added Mr Hind.

Mother-of-two English was ‘devastated about the infliction of these injuries’, he said.

Mr Hind added: “This is her best friend. They were very close. Socially, they did everything together.

“Unfortunately, they had been drinking. It would appear everybody who had been there had been drinking all night and also smoking cannabis.”

Mark Stuart, defending Hussain, said his client admitted he had caused some bruising Judge Gibson told English he accepted there was a lack of premeditation and he was dealing with her on the basis she at least believed she needed to defend herself.