Teenager jailed for scarring girlfriend - Cheshunt

09/12/2015

A teenager, who hurled a broken bottle at the face of his girlfriend, leaving her with long term scarring, has today, Wednesday, 09 December 2015, been sent into a young offenders institution for 20 months.

Proinsias O'Doherty, aged 18, from Cheshunt, became angry when the 17-year-old girl, who was visiting him at his parents' home, told him she wanted to leave. He smashed a wine bottle against a wardrobe in his bedroom and then threw it at her.

St Albans Crown Court was told that seven pieces of glass ended up embedded in the wound in the girl's cheek. Seven months on from the attack, the girl still bears the scar from the vicious assault and her confidence has been shattered.

O'Doherty, of Cromwell Avenue, Cheshunt, pleaded guilty to unlawfully and maliciously wounding the girl on 17 May this year.

Michael Speak, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), told how the couple met online at the start of this year and began a relationship. It soon became clear to the girl, however, that O'Doherty would drink to excess on occasions and become argumentative with her, ending with him punching walls and doors as his temper got the better of him.

As a result, the court was told the girl decided to have abreak from him and didn't have any contact with him for three weeks. Eventually she decided to give him another chance and they began seeing each other once more.

The court then heard how, on the evening of Saturday, 16 May this year, the girl visited the defendant at the home in Cheshunt where he lived with his parents. He drank most of a bottle of wine during the evening and the girl noticed a mood change in him once more.

Mr Speak said: "She said she was going home and she recalls when she told him that, he got angry. She remembers he picked up an empty wine bottle which was already in the room and he smashed the bottom end against a wardrobe door. "He then threw something in her direction as she walked towards him. She didn't realize what had happened, but he did and began crying and screaming. Blood was dripping onto her chest area and she realised she had been hurt and was bleeding."

The court heard the boy's mother who was in the house tried to help her and an ambulance was called to the house. The 17-year-old had suffered a two inch long cut to her right cheek just under the eye and seven pieces of glass were embedded in the wound, which had to be removed. Police also arrived at the house and the defendant was arrested.

Judge Marie Catterson, hearing the case, was told that the attack that night had badly affected the girl. Before, she had been a happy and confident teenager, but she was now constantly aware of the scar on her face and believes she has been left "disfigured." Whenever she goes out she feels she is being stared at and, as a result of her injury, believes she is ugly and "not worthy" of anyone's attention.

The court heard she tries to hide the mark on on her face with makeup. The court was also told O'Doherty had previously been violent towards another ex girlfriend.

Julian Goode, defending, said his client suffered from ADHD and was unemployed. He said both O'Doherty's parents were in poor health and the son was a carer for his father.

The court heard the son had turned to alcohol and cocaine to cope with the difficulties in his life.

Passing sentence, Judge Catterson told O'Doherty that the girl had suffered deeply because of what he'd done that night. "It's plain your criminality has had a lasting effect on her and her enjoyment of life," she told him.

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