A young woman has lost the vision in her left eye after being struck with a bottle at a Halifax nightclub.
Rebecca Mallas, 18, suffered the injury during an incident at the Liquid nightspot in November and a judge said her attacker would have to pay £2,000 in compensation.
Zoe Sutton, 21, of Spring Mill, Wainstalls, Halifax, had been due to stand trial at Bradford Crown Court, but she admitted causing grevious bodily harm to the complainant when she swung out with a bottle.
Rebecca said following the court appearance: “I would like to say thank you to everyone who helped me in the case, the barristers, my friend who was a witness and especially the police who spent many hours collecting statements and gathering evidence and spent numerous hours sitting with me to go through everything I could remember about that night.
“Without D.C. Mitchell I would not have got justice for what Zoe Sutton did to me.
“It was definitely the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I have lost vision in my left eye permanently and it is always going to be a reminder of what Zoe did to me.
“I believed going to court would be hard, but what was hardest of all was that one of my witnesses didn’t even bother to show and the other refused to take the stand and walked out. This was a friend. Although all this happened D.C Mitchell, my boyfriend, friends and especially my family stood by me, supported me and comforted me when this all happened, and although I did not take the stand Zoe decided to come clean and plead guilty.
“My biggest thank you and love goes out to my parents, they have sat through the constant crying, sleepless nights and long trips to the hospital, Truly grateful. I couldn’t be more happy and am looking forward to moving on.”
The court heard from prosecutor Jonathan Devlin who said Sutton, who had no previous convictions, claimed to have been acting in self defence when she swung out with the bottle in her hand.
Although the bottle did not break Mr Devlin said the impact on the left eye had caused a significant injury, which had resulted in permanent damage to the victim’s vision.
Recorder Simon Batiste was told that Sutton was a former grammar school pupil who wanted to study law, but at present she was working at a supermarket.
The court heard that she bitterly regretted the severity of the complainant’s injury and had never intended to cause it.
The judge accepted that the incident had involved raised voices and some pushing and shoving, but he said it was clear that Sutton had swung her hand at the complainant at a time when she had the bottle in it.
He said the blow had caused permanent damage to the victim’s eyesight, but he accepted that Sutton had not deliberately used the bottle as a weapon.
Recorder Batiste said it had been an over-reaction to what Sutton may have perceived as an attack and there was no intention to cause serious injury.
He said the case crossed the custody threshold because of the serious injury, but he decided to suspend Sutton’s 15-month prison sentence for 18 months.
But in addition to paying the complainant compensation Sutton will also have to do 225 hours unpaid work for the community.