AN election candidate has told how she thought she had been stabbed when she was violently assaulted while out campaigning in Colchester.

Carla Hales, Conservative candidate in the Colchester Council elections, was approached from behind, punched and sworn at by the perpetrator while out alone Bourne Road.

Mrs Hales was treated at hospital and is recovering after Wednesday afternoon’s “politically motivated” attack in the ward she is standing in – New Town and Christ Church.

Councillors from all parties condemned what happened and urged campaigners not to venture out alone.

Mrs Hales, 46, who lives in New Town, said: “I was in the Bourne Mill area and was trying to get some social media area pictures.

“I stopped to lean against a wall but I had my head in my phone and had some leaflets out and was maybe going do to a ‘selfie’ or something like that.

“I didn’t hear a person come up behind me. It was one, two, three punch in my ribs in my side and I was sworn at - called a ‘f****** Tory b****’ and then he just ran away.

“It just happened so quickly, I sat there for a second and thought did that actually happen?

“I took a deep breath and had a real deep pain in my side and for a second thought have I been stabbed?”

Mrs Hales, who is married to John, drove herself to A&E where x-rays to her back and ribs showed she had been badly bruised.

The schools’ music teacher added: “I am taking a couple of days off from campaigning and going to work for a couple of days but hoping to go back to campaigning on Saturday. I’ve had lots of offers from people to join me.”

READ MORE: Election candidate is 'violently assaulted' in Colchester

District Commander, Chief Inspector Rob Huddleston, called Mrs Hales personally after she reported what happened to police to offer his assurances officers would do everything they could to find the perpetrator.

  • Other candidates standing in the ward in next Thursday’s elections are Bob Brannan (Green party),Nick Cope (Lib Dem) and Elisa Vasquez-Walters (Labour).