A WOMAN was kicked in the face by a heroin user until she lost consciousness, a court heard.

Gemma White launched the “prolonged assault” after inviting the woman to her house hours after the pair met for the first time in a chemist shop.

Durham Crown Court heard the ordeal only ended when a neighbour, who heard the commotion, intervened and helped the injured woman from the house.

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She was taken to hospital suffering bruising to her right eye, swellings to the forehead, and she lost a tooth in the attack. The court heard she also needed six stitches to a cut chin, which could cause a permanent scar.

White, 23, now of Lancaster Terrace, Chester-le-Street, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

Ian West, prosecuting, said the victim, who had recently moved to Chester-le-Street, met White while each was collecting a prescription.

White invited her to the home she shared with her partner in Wark Street, where the couple injected themselves with heroin.

Mr West said the visitor was invited to take a dose, but refused and White became abusive and aggressive.

She grabbed and pulled the woman to the floor, kicking her in the face until the victim passed out.

Don MacFaul, for White, told the court: “When she was no longer under the influence of drugs, she recognised the harm she was responsible for. She was sorry for causing those injuries.

“What she realised was the relationship she was in at the time, which has now broken off, was a bad thing.

“They were a bad influence on each other, but there’s no longer a connection.

“Her previous convictions reflect a chaotic lifestyle.

“She is totally remorseful and, while in custody, she has been drug-free, ‘clean’ for the first time in six years.”

Judge Christopher Prince told White: “You have a history of violence stretching back over a number of years.

“In the latest incident you engaged in a vicious, unpleasant and somewhat prolonged attack on a woman of similar age to you.

“It arose from a minor dispute, or hostility towards her, concerning heroin.

“She was alone there, with no obvious means of escape, and has been left potentially permanently scarred as well as losing a tooth.

“I read that you profess to want to turn your life around, but it’s important to realise you have amassed a record for violence over a number of years.”

Jailing her for 16 months, Judge Prince added: “You can only expect to receive longer and longer sentences if there is further offending.”