A TRAUMATISED woman has told how a builder punched her in the face a number of times in an unprovoked attack in a car park.

Anthony Penaromero launched a vicious assault on Gemma Herincx in Porlock after she was involved in a confrontation with another woman.

Penaromero, 52, drove off after the incident, which left Ms Herincx, 56, needing hospital treatment for a black eye and pain in her face.

Penaromero, of Quarry Close, Alcombe, was found guilty of assault by beating following a trial at Taunton Magistrates' Court.

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He had earlier admitted causing damage valued at £145 to his victim's car during the incident on May 13 last year.

Ms Herincx said Penaromero, known locally as Chub, drove into the car park and trapped her in her car shortly after she had been involved in an altercation with Dolores King, who lives with him.

"He broke the driver's door, trapped me in it and grabbed me by the hair, some of which fell out," said Ms Herincx.

"He pinned me down and punched me approximately five times in the face. He then took off.

"He was shouting and said, 'You make sure you stay away from my family'."

Earlier, Ms Herincx had been involved in a "brief altercation" with Dolores King, who lives with Penaromero.

"She had persisted in trying to start a relationship with my partner, She was unsuccessful," said Ms Herincx.

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"She started to spread rumours that I'd tried to take my own life.

"I pushed her and tried to snatch he car keys to stop her driving away. Not a good move on my part. I didn't succeed and she drove away."

Penaromero denied the assault charge, but changed his plea in court to guilty of criminal damage.

He was released on unconditional bail to appear at a sentencing hearing on July 5.

Ms Herincx said: "This has been extremely hard to stomach over this last year as I am a theatre worker of decades and lost all my work with the original lockdown. The police and CPS were great."