A WOMAN has spoken of her shock after being shot in the face while she was walking with her young granddaughter through a North-East town.

Alison Saunders’ head was knocked back from the impact of the projectile that was fired out of an air weapon when it hit her just inches from her eye.

The Stockton grandmother was not seriously injured but she fears that it could happen again and whoever is hit might not be so lucky.

“It was a massive shock – I just wasn’t expecting it,” said the 52-year-old. “I was walking along minding my own business when I felt this incredible pain and realised I had been hit in the face by something that had been fired at me.

“I was hit just below my bottom lip but it could have easily been in my eye or even worse it could have hit my granddaughter and caused serious injury.”

Mrs Saunders was walking along Rochester Road in the town with 20-month-old Peggy in her pushchair when she was targeted by the unknown assailant at 5pm on Saturday afternoon.

“Thankfully I wasn’t too badly injured but next time someone else might not be so lucky,” she said. “I’m only little so it could so easily have been my granddaughter that could have been hit and that doesn’t even bear thinking about.

“The shock of being hit in the face was horrible and I really hope that nobody else is shot by whoever did this to me as it is so dangerous.

“I have no idea where the shot came from - it was completely out of the blue. I hope the police catch the person who did this before someone is seriously injured.”

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “We are appealing for information with regards to an assault that occurred on Rochester Road, Stockton, near to Rhyl Close on Saturday, May 17.

“A woman who was pushing a small child in a pushchair was shot in the face by an unknown person, with what is believed to be an air gun.”

Anyone with information is asked to call PC Gavin Humphrey on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555-111.