Glassing bully avoids jail

A FORMER school bully who glassed her victim, leaving her scarred for life, has avoided a prison sentence.Instead Victoria Betts, 19, was given a two-year community punishment and rehabilitation order, which will include 50 hours' unpaid work.

A FORMER school bully who glassed her victim, leaving her scarred for life, has avoided a prison sentence.

Instead Victoria Betts, 19, was given a two-year community punishment and rehabilitation order, which will include 50 hours' unpaid work.

She was also put on curfew for three months – not allowed to leave her home between 9pm and 6am. – and ordered to pay £500 compensation to her victim, 18-year-old barmaid Morgan Flynn.

But Miss Flynn, who suffered at the hands of bullying Betts during her school life, said the sentence was too lenient.

She said: "I think the court was too lenient – this incident is not going to effect her life as much as it has effected mine."

And Miss Flynn's parents, Peter and Frances, landlords of the Falcon Pub in Walton where the incident took place said they too were disappointed by the outcome.

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Mr Flynn said: "I am very disappointed with the outcome – I would have thought a custodial sentence would have been a proper deterrent.

"More and more people are using weapons in pubs against bar staff and people need to know the courts will be tough on this.

"The magistrates sent her to crown court because they felt they could not impose a strong enough sentence and then all she gets is a community order."

During the hearing, prosecution barrister Michael Crimp told Ipswich Crown Court that Miss Flynn's injuries included a gash on the bridge of her nose, cuts to her left eyebrow and eyelid, and damage to her shoulder.

He said: "Six months after the event she says the marks to her nose are clear and obvious, she is scarred.

She has not fully recovered, she has nightmares, sleepless nights a loss of confidence and she is paranoid in busy pubs and clubs."

Recorder Richard Jones QC said most judges would not hesitate to send Betts – who pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm – to prison but due to her age and lack of previous convictions he would not.

He said: "You have come very, very close to having a custodial sentence."

The court heard Betts was drinking in The Falcon pub in Walton, Felixstowe, on July 24 last year when she attacked Miss Flynn in a deliberate act.

Mr Crimp said Miss Flynn was bullied at school by Betts, though they had not seen each other for four years, and so tried to keep out of the way.

"Her presence made her feel uncomfortable and she tried to stay in the background," he said.

Betts, of Brightwell Close, Felixstowe, was with three companions when asked to leave the pub, but refused.

Betts shouted at Miss Flynn: "You were a coward at school and you are a coward now."

Mr Crimp said: "With one move she thrust the glass into the victim's face. She could not react in time she said she was struck with considerable force and the defendant used her body weight. She let go of the glass and it struck her on the face."

Defence barrister Russell Butcher said Betts, who drunk three vodkas but was not drunk, had no previous convictions and had shown remorse for her actions.

"Miss Betts had been in an abusive relationship and she split up with him that day. She had gone to the pub that night with her brother and other friends in order to cheer her up. She clearly overreacted – she recognises that and she has shown genuine remorse," he said.

"She felt it was unfair to be asked to leave, she knows she should have gone when she was asked. The situation bubbled over."

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