Woman jailed for wounding with intent - St Albans

18/03/2014

A woman who had exchanged "sexual texts" with her victim's boyfriend was jailed for four and a half years today, Tuesday, 18 March 2014, for a night club glassing in Bedford.

Dannielle Staferton, aged 22, who had been called names by Clarissa Eton, thrust a champagne glass into her left eye, leaving her with permanent eye damage.

Daniel Siong prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told Luton Crown Court that bad feeling between Staferton and Ms Eton went back to April last year when the victim discovered text messages between Staferton and her boyfriend.  He said: "The texts were of a sexual nature. An affair has always been denied, but there was clearly animosity. Ms Eton accepts she called the defendant a name."

By chance, both women were in the Embassy club in Bedford on 30 June and had been affected by drink. Earlier that night there was a face to face confrontation during which Staferton picked up a bottle, but was held back by her friends.  At half past three in the morning Ms Eton went upstairs to sit next to a friend on a sofa in the club. "Ms Staferton was next to her. She stood up, took hold of a champagne glass and made a motion to throw it, but it didn't leave her hand and made contact with the victim above her left eye," said Mr Siong.  Door staff intervened and Staferton was arrested.

Ms Eton needed 16 stitches and was left with a permanent scar and a disfigured iris, which is now diamond-shaped. She suffers from a drooping eyelid and involuntary blinking. Before the attack she had normal vision, but now has to wear glasses. In a victim impact statement, prepared a month later, she said she suffered a shooting pain to her eye when she bends over to pick up her daughter.

Staferton of Roundmead, Putnoe, Bedford pleaded guilty to wounding with intent on 30 June last year. She had no previous convictions.

Andrew Morton, defending, said there had been a high level of hostility between the women and that Staferton had "lashed out" impulsively. She now wanted to leave the Bedford area. "She had been disinhibited by the consumption of alcohol. She has not drunk since the night in question and expresses her remorse," he said.

Sentencing her, Judge Laura Harris said: "Both were clearly affected by alcohol, but that does not justify what the defendant did."

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