A WOMAN who launched a bizarre inexplicable attack on her friend while on a caravan holiday leaving her with life-changing injuries has avoided jail.

Phathiswa Cunningham was on the break in St Osyth last year with her pal when she suddenly squared up to her.

Initially, the victim thought Cunningham was joking but she then began punching her to the head and pulling her hair forcing her down to her knees.

The 39-year-old then began raining more blows onto the woman's body.

A struggle continued and the victim twisted her knee and badly damaged her cartilage.

Since the incident in April last year, she has been unable to work and has to walk with crutches.

Cunningham, of Monarch Lane, Great Horkesley, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Colchester Magistrates' Court last month.

In a victim impact statement, the court heard the victim know thought she was "deformed" given the continuing problems with her leg.

The victim estimates her injuries have cost her £7,000 in lost earnings and in rehabilitation sessions.

Cunningham had no previous convictions at the time of the offence but has since been handed a community order for failing to provide a specimen while driving.

The pair had been friends for 25 years prior to the incident but no longer speak.

Cunningham was given a 12 week sentence suspended for 18 months after a report was prepared by the probation service.

She must carry out 20 rehabilitation days, 100 hours of unpaid work and is banned from contacting the victim.

Cunningham must pay £500 compensation.

Her previous community order was revoked and replaced by the new terms.

At a previous hearing, Cunningham said her reaction was down to mixing medication with alcohol.

She said: "I had an awful year and was going through many different things.

"I was having problems with anxiety and I had been given some medication.

"On that night, we were drinking wine and I do not know what happened but I reacted badly."