A woman with Alzheimer's has been punched in the face by an unknown man after she asked him to stop beating his dog.

Joy Watson, who was praised by the government as an "ambassador" for people living with dementia, suffered a fractured eye socked in the attack:

Joy will need surgery in Salford. Credit: MEN Media

The 61 year old was driving to watch friends take part in a charity cycle ride when she spotted a man kicking his pet dog.

When she threatened to report him unless he stopped attacking the animal, he allegedly hit Joy "like a boxer" - knocking her to the ground.

I went down and hit my head on the concrete ground. My nose was gushing with blood. The couple got back in the car, and drove around me, not knowing if I was dead or alive.

Joy Watson

Joy was wearing a badge at the time that said "I have dementia, please be patient'" - and believes the offender thought she would be "a soft touch".

She spent two days in hospital in North Yorkshire and will need surgery at Salford Royal Hospital.

Joy says the man, who was with his wife at the time, drove off without checking on her. Credit: MEN Media

The incident, which happened on the morning of Sunday 7 July near Bridlington, has been reported to the police.

They are investigating.

The attack happened on a layby near Bracey Bridge on the A164 in East Yorkshire Credit: MEN Media

What is a dementia ambassador?

Joy Watson was praised by the then Prime Minister David Cameron for her work as an advocate for people living with dementia.

Since being diagnosed six years ago, she has become a champion for people with the condition, giving lectures, raising awareness, teaching nursing students, and showing local businesses how to help.