16-year-old coughed up blood before attackers left her alone.

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A teenage girl, who was the subject of a savage kicking, was only spared a further beating when she started coughing up blood.

The 16-year-old was attacked in Ottery St Mary after she became separated from her friends following the annual tar barrels event.

Police say she was taking a shortcut near Broad Street when she was grabbed from behind by a male who covered her mouth and eyes.

PC Sarah Henley, who is appealing for witnesses to come forward, said: “Once in an alleyway, he threw her to the floor and began kicking her to her abdomen and chest area.

“He then shouted ‘Come on’ and was joined by three or four females, who then joined in whilst the male was shouting ‘Kick her harder’.

“Only when the victim began coughing up blood did the group then run off.”

The victim has only just been released from hospital.

Her attackers are described as aged between 30 and 40.

The male is described as being of a muscular build, at least six ft tall and wearing a long-sleeved top.

One of the females had a gruff voice.

Anyone with information is urged to contact PC Henley on 101, quoting crime reference number KO/12/627.

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