Tanya is sitting on a stub of wall outside the pub, leaning forwards with a wad of cloth pressed to the side of her face. A steady trickle of blood runs out beneath the heel of her hand, curls off the point of her chin, and falls to the pavement.
A policeman stands next to her.
‘Tanya’s been assaulted with a knife,’ he says. ‘She’s got a nasty cut to the left side of her face, but no other injuries as far as we can tell. We’ve got the guy who did it - over there…’ he says, nodding in the direction of a screaming man pinned face-down on the ground beneath a security guard and three other officers. ‘Her ex,’ he adds, then carefully peels off his gloves so he can take out his pocket book.
On the ambulance, we take a look. A grievous work of butchery, laying open the left side of her face from the corner of the mouth to the cheekbone. I clean it up as best and as quickly as I can, then cover it again with dampened gauze.
‘I told him it was over but he wouldn’t have it,’ she says. ‘He took all my stuff. My CD player. My methadone scrip. He tried to get me yesterday but I ran off. I didn’t do nothing.’
She turns in the chair to show me the jagged rip in the back of her jacket where he’d swiped at her: as she turns, the white foam stuffing rucks and rides out of the hole.