Published: 11:30, 11 June 2021
| Updated: 12:29, 13 June 2021
A 21-year-old woman says she is suffering with concussion after being punched by a stranger in a Tesco Express while on her lunch break.
Romy Martin had walked to the store in Week Street, Maidstone, to buy a bottle of water when the incident happened at around 2pm on Monday.
The social services worker says she had never visited the County Town previously but had headed to that particular Kent County Council office for the day to pick up a laptop.
"I saw the lady when I was walking up the street. She was wearing layers and it was boiling hot so, obviously, she stood out," said Miss Martin who lives in Greenhithe.
"She was asking me for money. I said I didn’t have any cash.
"Then, she was asking me to buy her various different tablets and medication. With the job I'm in, I said I couldn’t because I don’t know what she is going to do with those.
"She followed me into Tesco. She disappeared and I thought she was harassing somebody else instead.
"But she came back with all these boxes and really pressurised me, saying ‘You are paying for this. I'm ready now, go to the till and buy this for me’.
"She said 'How do you feel about this' and punched me in the back of the head..."
"It was so awkward. I just turned around and said ‘Oh sorry, I can’t’.
"Within about two seconds, she said ‘How do you feel about this’ and punched me in the back of the head.
"It was all really quick. I was probably only there for five or 10 minutes."
The concussion meant she has only been able to work from home this week.
She added: "My head is so bad.
"I thought it would just pass, but the hit was really hard. I thought, by that evening, it would go. I can’t really work. I can do things, sitting down.
"But I can’t be walking around doing things, I’m just confused all the time."
Miss Martin attempted to return to work on Wednesday but had to leave after an hour.
"I work in social services for adults so maybe I'm more aware than other people," she said. "I took my lanyard off before I went on to the High Street, so you couldn’t see where I worked and I thought that would help me blend in.
"But it seems to have done the opposite."
Police have confirmed they are looking into the attack.
"It is alleged a woman in her 20s was approached by another woman she did not know who assaulted her," a spokesman said.
Miss Martin says the woman was wearing cream tracksuit bottoms, a dark green crochet top and had dyed orange hair.
A Tesco spokesman said: "We are aware of an incident that took place at our Week Street, Maidstone, Express store involving two customers.
"We are assisting police with their enquiries."
Officers are appealing for witnesses or anybody with information that may assist the investigation to call the appeal line on 01622 604100, quoting crime reference 46/98798/21.