A mum who was left with a nine-inch scar on her face after an alleged bottle attack at a nightclub has spoken out about her ordeal. She said her young children were terrified by the sight of her and she felt like a monster.
The night that changed her life
Kirsty McLeod, 29, from Glasgow, was enjoying a night out with her friends at the Savoy nightclub in the city centre on October 23, 2023. She said she had no problems with anyone and was having a good time until the attack happened.
She said: “I was on the dance floor with my friends and I felt something hit me on the side of my face. I didn’t see who did it or what it was, but it felt like a punch. I put my hand up to my face and it was covered in blood. I was in shock and I started screaming.”
Kirsty said she was taken to the toilets by her friends and the staff, who tried to stop the bleeding. She said she saw a broken bottle on the floor and realised that was what had hit her.
She said: “I was terrified. I didn’t know how bad it was or if I was going to lose my eye. I was crying and shaking. The staff called an ambulance and the police and they took me to the hospital.”
The aftermath of the attack
Kirsty said she had to undergo surgery to stitch up the wound, which stretched from her temple to her cheekbone. She said she was left with a huge scar that made her feel insecure and depressed.
She said: “I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I felt like a monster. I was scared to go out in public and I felt like everyone was staring at me. I was worried about what my kids would think of me. They were only four and six at the time and they didn’t understand what had happened. They were scared of me and they didn’t want to hug me or kiss me. They kept asking me why I had a big cut on my face and when it would go away.”
Kirsty said she had to explain to them that someone had hurt her and that she still loved them. She said she tried to reassure them that she was still the same person, but it broke her heart to see them upset.
She said: “It was hard to cope with the physical and emotional pain. I had nightmares and flashbacks of the attack. I suffered from anxiety and depression. I felt like I had lost my identity and my confidence. I felt like I had done something wrong to deserve this.”
The quest for justice
Kirsty said she was determined to find out who was responsible for the attack and to get justice. She said she contacted the police and gave them a statement, but she was frustrated by the lack of progress in the investigation.
She said: “The police told me they had CCTV footage of the attack, but they couldn’t identify the person who did it. They said they had interviewed some witnesses, but they couldn’t get any useful information. They said they had no leads or suspects and they couldn’t do anything more. I felt like they had given up on me and my case.”
Kirsty said she decided to take matters into her own hands and launched a social media campaign to appeal for information. She said she posted pictures of her injury and asked anyone who was at the nightclub that night or who knew anything about the attack to come forward.
She said: “I was desperate to find out who did this to me and why. I wanted them to face the consequences of their actions and to apologise to me. I wanted them to see what they had done to me and how they had ruined my life. I wanted them to feel some of the pain I felt.”
The hope for the future
Kirsty said she received a lot of support and sympathy from the public, but also some abuse and criticism. She said some people accused her of lying or exaggerating the attack, or of being involved in a fight or a drug deal.
She said: “I was shocked and hurt by some of the comments I got. Some people were very nasty and rude. They said I deserved what happened to me or that I was asking for trouble. They said I was making it up or that I was trying to get attention or money. They didn’t believe me or they didn’t care about me.”
Kirsty said she ignored the haters and focused on the positive messages she got. She said she also received some tips and leads from people who claimed to know something about the attack or the attacker.
She said: “I was grateful for the people who showed me kindness and compassion. They gave me hope and strength. They encouraged me to keep fighting and to not give up. They said they believed me and they supported me. They said they wanted me to get justice and to heal.”
Kirsty said she passed on the information she got to the police and hoped that they would follow up on it. She said she was still waiting for a breakthrough in the case and hoped that one day she would get closure.
She said: “I’m not going to let this beat me. I’m not going to let this define me. I’m not going to let this stop me from living my life. I’m still here and I’m still strong. I’m still a mum and I’m still a person. I’m still Kirsty and I’m still beautiful.”