A 17-year-old girl has been left traumatised after a man set her hair alight at a gig. Rap artist Potter Payper had just left the stage at Cardiff's Tramshed when Katie Louise Jenkins was attacked by another member of the audience.

Katie went with friends to see the rapper on March 4 at the venue in Grangetown's Clare Road. She said: "The event itself was great. I've always liked Potter Payper and his music. There were a few fights before the altercation occurred with me at the end of the night. After Potter Payper had performed Purple Rain and left the stage, that's when the incident took place."

As the crowd was leaving the venue, Katie got separated from her friends. She was trying to find them when a woman tapped her on the shoulder and said: "Babe, your hair's on fire." Katie recalls "frantically" putting it out with the help of people around her.

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Katie turned around and saw a man waving a lighter and laughing at her. "I grabbed hold of his coat, and that's when he put me into a headlock and started elbowing and punching me," she said. "I was punched once to the side of my face and once to my head. I was elbowed I'd probably say around three to four times to the face and head. Security then came and dragged me out, but somehow I still managed to have hold of [the attacker]. I was telling the security guards around me what he did, while being in absolute hysterics.

"There was a group of, I think, three girls who I didn't know but witnessed what happened, and they were also telling the security guard. The security guard reassured me to let him go while I was still pinned against a wall. I let him go, and then security did nothing as he ran off." Tramshed says it has offered support to Katie over the attacker's "unacceptable behaviour" and that "the on-site security staff responded to the incident and subsequently offered Katie access to the on-site medics".

Left, Katie Louise Jenkins' hair the morning after the attack, and right, how it looks now
Left, Katie Louise Jenkins' hair the morning after the attack, and right, how it looks now

Katie says her hair was damaged by the fire. "I've been using hair products to try and repair and help grow my hair. My hair is in much better condition now but it just shouldn't have happened in the first place." She added that she sustained a few red marks from being hit by the attacker.

She reported the incident to South Wales Police but she says the force told her the CCTV was not clear enough for the man to be identified and that the investigation was being dropped. A spokeswoman for the force told WalesOnline that it is not aware of any witnesses. Police urged anyone with information to come forward to help officers find the man responsible, who is described as being in his early 30s, with a scruffy beard and around 5ft 6in tall. He was wearing a cap, a khaki green replica Canada Goose jacket and black trousers.

Katie said: "This event has made me worry for this man's family and friends because if he thinks that behaviour is acceptable, what else would he do? It’s absolutely broken me that police have said that there’s nothing else they can do now. This incident has absolutely traumatised me and made me very wary of even leaving my house. I've had to take time off my training programme due to experiencing depressive episodes since this incident. Our justice system has failed so many of us and it is truly so heart-wrenching."

A spokesperson for Tramshed said the venue has been giving "every assistance" to the police investigation, including access to all CCTV footage. "We have also been in contact with Katie, who reported the incident, to offer our support and sincere apologies that another customer’s unacceptable behaviour at this event has caused her to have a negative experience," they added.

"We have reviewed CCTV from multiple cameras to ensure that all procedures were correctly followed. The on-site security staff responded to the incident and subsequently offered Katie access to the on-site medics. The safety of our customers on site is our top priority and we will continue to work closely with the police, local authorities and our team of trained security staff to ensure a safe and secure environment at Tramshed. Any potentially dangerous incident as described by Katie is as unacceptable in our venue, as it is anywhere else, and we encourage customers to alert a member of staff if they are affected by or witness a similar situation.

"If any customers witnessed the specific events described by Katie we would ask that they contact the police immediately. Once again, we apologise to Katie for the negative experience she has had at this event and hope to welcome her back to our venue in the near future."

The police spokeswoman said: "On Tuesday, March 5, South Wales Police received a report from a 17-year-old girl that she had been assaulted the previous night while at an event in Tramshed, Cardiff. Understandably this was a traumatic experience for the victim, and we understand her disappointment that the suspect has not yet been identified following an investigation. The incident was not captured on CCTV and there were no witnesses. We would appeal for witnesses or anyone with information to contact police. Please contact us quoting 2400074601."

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