A woman was left with nightmares after a terrifying unprovoked attack in a shop by a stranger wielding a vodka bottle.

A man followed her in wrongly believing she was a council official when he went for help with his accommodation.

Veronica Groom told Flintshire Magistrates Court at Mold: "Every time I close my eyes I see him coming at me with the bottle."

She had left her place of work in Flint on September 14 and was walking down Church Street when Michael Oliver, 31, started to follow her.

He had been walking towards her staring, said prosecutor Justin Espie.

Oliver muttered something as he passed and then turned around and followed her.

“She quickened her pace and went into a newsagents,” said Mr Espie.

“He was behind her and standing very close.”

She tried to get away and ran around a display unit but fell to the floor.

A video recording of what happened was shown.

Oliver was standing over Mrs Groom and raised his arm as though he was going to smash her with the bottle. She pleaded with him not to touch her and told him she had children.

Mr Espie said Mrs Groom raised her feet in the air to try to defend herself. She suffered injuries to her head, arms and legs and damaged her stomach muscles, during the attack.

Fortunately, said Mr Espie, shop owner Irfan Umargi stepped between Mrs Groom and Oliver to stop him.

He was struck several times, so severely he had to go to hospital later for X-rays to his arm.

But when he intervened Mrs Groom was able to make her escape and run to Flint police station.

Customer Owen Meurig stepped in to help and was hit on the head and temple with the bottle and headbutted.

A six month pregnant shop assistant witnessed the attack.

Father-of-two Mr Umargi said in a witness statement he was afraid of a “revenge” attack by Oliver.

He said: “I keep seeing the rage in his face. I hate the vision of the rage in his face and how concentrated he was on Veronica.”

Mr Espie said: “This was a totally unprovoked, totally random attack by a man with mental health issues using a bottle in dangerous circumstances.

“The way the bottle was being swung, if it had connected we would be looking at very serious injuries.”

Oliver pleaded guilty to affray and possessing an offensive weapon – the vodka bottle.

In her victim statement Mrs Groom said after the incident she could hardly sleep. She had been left anxious and when she tried to return to work had broken down in tears and had to go home.

She was frightened Oliver would return to Flint and was off work for five-and-a-half weeks.

She had to throw out the clothes she wore when she was attacked because they reminded her of her ordeal.

“Even now I still have periods when I feel extremely anxious and have problems with people coming up behind me,” said.

Melissa Griffiths, defending, said: “The defendant accepts this was a horrible incident which had a profound effect on all those involved.”

She said Oliver had been to the council’s housing department in Flint to discuss his housing benefits and felt they had not been helpful.

“Wrongly, he thought this lady was the lady he had dealt with. He was not on his medication and had been drinking non-stop for seven days.”

She said in 2011 Oliver had been diagnosed as schizophrenic. For the last five months he had been held under the Mental Health Act and was currently detained at Ty Llewellyn, a medium secure unit in Llanfairfechan.

Magistrates remanded Oliver pending sentence at Mold Crown Court on March 29 and he will remain at Ty Llewellyn until his court appearance.