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'I can still see in my dreams. But when I wake, the truth hits'

Mother whose eyes were gouged by partner makes emotional testimony to court

A mother-of-two who was left blind after her eyes were gouged out by her partner during a "premeditated, sustained, vicious attack" said yesterday she "feels like a ghost who can hear everyone, but could not even see her kids' faces".

Shane Jenkin throttled 32-year-old Tina Nash until she was unconscious before gouging out her eyes and leaving her with devastating injuries including a broken nose and jaw in Hayle, Cornwall last April. Attempts to save the sight in one of her eyes failed and she was left completely blind

Jenkin, 33, was originally charged with attempted murder but admitted GBH with intent at Truro crown court yesterday. He will be sentenced next month.

In a statement released after his plea, Ms Nash said the attack had "robbed me of one of the most precious things in life". "I can hear everyone but I can't even see my kids' faces. That is really harsh. I miss the world, my kids' faces, I miss everything." She has two sons aged 14 and four.

Ms Nash, who said she was held prisoner by Jenkin for 12 hours after the attack, added that she had been left feeling "buried alive, claustrophobic and not in control of my life" by the assault.

"I actually look forward to going to sleep because in my dreams I have sight. It's when I wake up that the truth hits home," she said.

Detective Inspector Chris Strickland, of Devon and Cornwall Police, described Ms Nash's ordeal as the "most shocking attack" he had ever seen. "Our view is that Jenkin deliberately strangled Tina into a state of unconsciousness in order that he could inflict these terrible injuries," he said. "Tina's life will never be the same and her lifelong disability will be a constant reminder of the attack."

Paying tribute to Ms Nash's courage, he added: "Tina has displayed incredible strength, however, and has shown great desire to be able to care for her two children despite not being able to see them as they grow up."

A charity run by family friend Lisa Nicholls, Justice for Tina, has raised £1,500 to help Ms Nash adapt to life after the attack. Ms Nicholls, who is a friend of Ms Nash's sister Lorraine, said: "Every time I see Tina, she always asks about my children, she is always bubbly. She has so much going on but she has a big smile, she is a real trouper."

Following his appearance in court yesterday, it emerged that Jenkin – who has the word "Outlaw" tattooed on his forearm – was serving a five-year ban from pubs in Penzance after repeatedly causing disturbances.