Mum spared jail for glass attack
8:10am Friday 15th March 2013 in News
A SINGLE mum who slammed a glass into a man’s face in an Old Town bar has walked free from court so she can continue looking after her children.
Samantha Lee, of Frobish-er Drive, was told “the factor that tips the scales are your children”, as a judge suspended her 12-month jail term for the assault.
Judge Euan Ambrose told the 29-year-old he did not want to make her children, aged 12 and five, “additional victims” by incarcerating their mother.
But he warned her they “were not a get out of jail free card” and that if she breached the terms of a supervision order she would be imprisoned.
He also banned her from all on-licensed premises for 18 months.
Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the incident took place in The Spot a few days before Christmas last year. He said Matthew Bulman was assaulted by Lee at the Godwin Square bar on December 22.
Mr Meeke said Lee turned round and smashed a glass into Mr Bulman’s face, causing a two-and-a-half inch cut just above his right eye.
When she was questioned she told police someone had groped her so she turned round and lashed out, forgetting she was holding a glass.
Mr Meeke said whether or not someone had touched her, it was not the victim.
Lee, of Frobisher Drive, pleaded guilty to a charge of actual bodily harm.
Rob Ross, defending, said his client was full of remorse for what she had done and admitted the offence at the earliest opportunity.
Passing sentence, the judge said: “You reacted to what you thought was someone groping you in the club.
“You reacted instinctively and with consequences that have landed you in this court. That is of no comfort to Mr Bulman. He did not deserve to be struck by you.
“Your reaction was completely unacceptable, whatever your personal history and whatever you thought had just transpired in that nightclub that night.
“There was a glass in your hand, albeit one you did not deliberately use.
“It is aggravated by your record which has a number of minor matters.
“You are a single mother, you have two children. You are their carer. You look after them and support them.
“Looking at the aggravating and mitigating factors and giving you full credit for your guilty plea the sentence would be 12 months custody. After a trial, 18 months.
“The real question for me is whether I should suspend that sentence.
“The factor that tips the scales are your children.
“The consequence of a custodial sentence is to create two additional victims to this case who really have a lot to lose. I am not going to do that today.”
Judge Ambrose suspended the 12-month sentence for two years. He told Lee she will be under supervision for 18 months, must complete 210 hours of unpaid work, observe an exclusion order from on-licensed premises and pay Mr Bulmer £600 compensation and a £100 victim surcharge.