The Hungarian journalist caught on camera kicking and tripping refugees has insisted that she is "not a heartless, child kicking racist".

Petra Lazlo said she "panicked" as hundreds of migrants charged towards her after breaking through a police cordon near the Roeszke reception centre, a camp by the Hungarian-Serbian border.

"I'm not a heartless, child-kicking racist cameraperson," she wrote in a letter to Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet, which they published on their website.

"As I watch the footage now, it's like I'm not watching myself. I honestly regret what I have done and take responsibility for it," she added.

Lazlo was filming for the N1TV station on 8 September, when she was caught putting out her leg and tripping a man carrying a child as he ran by, causing him to fall to the ground.

As the migrants rushed towards her, the 40 year old said that "something snapped" in her head.

"My only thought was that I was going to be attacked, and that I had to defend myself," she wrote, adding that her camera had prevented her from getting a clear view of who was approaching her.

"As a mother I'm particularly sorry that fate had it that a child was running at me, and I wasn't able to sense that. It's not easy to make a good decision when you're in a panic," she said.

She was later fired with "immediate effect" by N1TV, which has links to the far-right Jobbik Party. They said that she had "behaved unacceptably" in a statement.

Lazlo is also potentially facing charges and has been questioned by police on suspicion of breaching the peace.

Police major Szadolcs Szdnti told the IBTimes UK that a prosecuting attorney would decide whether to charge her, once their investigation was finished.