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Drunken fight in Kidderminster left woman blind in one eye
7:20am Friday 6th December 2013 in News
A JUDGE has issued a clear warning that anyone involved in drunken fighting in the streets will be facing a jail sentence.
Judge Robert Juckes, QC, gave his warning as he sentenced an 18-year-old Rock woman to 18 months behind bars after a fight that left the victim permanently blind in one eye.
"This was gross public disturbance outside a nightclub of the kind that courts are trying to discourage," he said. "If people indulge in this sort of behaviour in the streets they are in danger of a custodial sentence."
Hair stylist Melissa Hawkins, of Rectory Lane, Rock, near Kidderminster, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding during a fight between two groups outside Tribe nightclub in Kidderminster at 4am on June 22, 2012 .
Gerald Bermingham, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court there had been an altercation inside that had spilled on to the streets with a fight involving groups of women. Hawkins took off her stilleto-heeled shoe and used it to hit the victim Roisin Murrihy in the face.
Also involved were Melissa Brown, 18, of Clapton Road, Birmingham and Georgie Dickens, 20, of Wood Street, Wolverhampton, who pleaded guilty to affray.
Hawkins took responsibility for causing the injury to Miss Murrihy, who also had a promising career in the beauty business, which was now likely to be difficult for her, the court heard. She lost the sight in her left eye where the stilleto had penetrated it and has difficulties with her other eye because of the extra strain. She will need further surgery on the muscles to make her left eye move normally and reduce the appearance of the injury, the court heard.
Nicholas Smith, defending, said Hawkins was utterly ashamed of what she had done and the effect it had on Miss Murrihy. She was only 16 at the time and had since matured, carrying on her training and education and working on her career as a hair stylist.
Phillip Brunt, for Dickens, said he realised that the courts had to discourage drink-fuelled violence, "especially at this time of year", but Dickens had only got involved when she saw one of her friends being attacked and had ended up on the floor being kicked herself.
Adam Western, defending Brown, said she admitted pulling the victim's hair but that was her only involvement. He said she now had a nine-month-old baby and any form of curfew would restrict her family activities over Christmas.
Judge Juckes said the three admitted they had been binge drinking and said that had led to the fighting. He said Hawkins had pulled Miss Murrihy back and then used the stilleto "like a hammer".
"It is as much a dangerous weapon as anything else," he said. "You would not have done this if you had not been drinking but that is what makes this so serious. It is the kind of behaviour people are so concerned about."
He sentenced Hawkins to 18 months in a young offenders institution.
Brown was given a community order with supervision for 12 months. Dickens was also given a community order for 12 months with 100 hours unpaid work. Both were given an electronically tagged curfew between 7pm and 7am for three months.