A TEENAGE girl who was beaten up in her own home is too frightened to return to school, her mother said yesterday.

The Northern Echo reported how Joanne Bartlett, 13, needed hospital treatment for bruising and swelling to her head after the assault in the bathroom of her home in Hurworth Place, near Darlington, on Friday night.

A girl, thought to be part of a gang regularly seen in the village, burst into the house while Joanne was by herself and kicked her to the ground.

Last night, her mother Julie, 37, said: "Now Joanne doesn't want to go back to school. She is afraid to go to sleep in her own room and has been sleeping in with me.

"She thinks they are going to come back in and get her.

"Hurworth is a lovely little village and is the sort of place where you can leave the door on the latch - at least that is what I thought."

Joanne, a pupil at Hurworth Comprehensive School, said: "I'm frightened to go out of the house. It is the beginning of the summer holidays, but I don't want to go out in case I bump into this girl and the gang she hangs around with."