A young woman has been left scarred for life after a man smashed a pint glass into her face at an Essex pub.
On the night of the attack, Lucy Nobile, 20, had been enjoying drinks with friends at the Hole in the Wall in Colchester when she was suddenly attacked from behind with a pint glass.
Lucy, who is partially sighted, suffered deep cuts to her cheek, neck and lips and lost more than four pints of blood as a result of the attack.
The 20-year-old first encountered the attacker, James Booth, when she stepped in to stop him hassling a woman outside the pub.
Booth became hostile and made an inappropriate gesture towards her. Lucy headed inside to tell a friend what had happened but Booth followed her and made another gesture towards her, leading to an altercation.
It was then, as Lucy was speaking to a bartender, that the glass was shattered over her face.
Lucy said: “I had my back towards him and didn’t even see it coming. At first, I didn’t realise what had happened. I went to put my hand to my face but I couldn’t because I had glass hanging out of it.
“Then next thing I remember is waking up on the floor after passing out because of blood loss.
“The whole thing was traumatic. My friend Kai was standing next to me when it happened. He kept hold of me and was holding onto my neck so I didn’t bleed out. Other people in the pub ran out and got hold of him (Booth) until the police got there.”
“I had glass in my mouth, in my tongue”
Lucy was taken to hospital but Covid regulations meant that her dad, who’d arrived at the pub, couldn’t stay with her.
“I was in so much distress,” she said. Being in that room alone was horrible. I had a laceration to my cheek that was 10 centimetres by five centimetres. It was a flap of skin that was peeling off.
“I had glass in my mouth, in my tongue, my lip had to get stitched back together because a shard of glass had separated my lip. I then had a deep cut along my neck from the impact, and I had a broken jaw. I had burst blood vessels in my right eye, and a lot of little cuts across my face.
“The glass only missed my jugular by five millimetres.”
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Lucy said the attack left her struggling physically and mentally as she came to terms with the horrific incident and her injuries.
“The first couple of weeks were the hardest because my face was so bruised,” she said.
“It hurt to eat, it hurt to drink. Part of me just wanted to shut down and recover. I wanted to close the door and say ‘Bye world’ but I couldn’t.
“I’m left with these scars for the rest of my life. I need to embrace it because I can’t hide them. They’re a part of me. It’s been really hard but I’m glad to say I’m coming out of the other side of it now.”
Seeing Booth sentenced for his crime, with a jail term of six years, has helped bring Lucy some closure.
“We’re hoping he learns from this and doesn’t hold any hatred against women,” she added.
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“In a matter of thirty seconds, Lucy’s life had changed forever”
Lucy also praised police for their help and thanked DC Rob McWilliams for his work in the case and the support he gave her family during the investigation.
“Rob was absolutely brilliant,” she said. He went above and beyond, he really made sure that he had time for us. Rob’s really good at his job!”
DC McWilliams said that Booth’s six-year sentence sends out a strong message to anyone committing violence against women.
“It was a suitable punishment,” he said. “In a matter of thirty seconds, Lucy’s life had changed forever. He may spend the next six years in prison, but she’s scarred for life. It was a stupid reaction and a terrible decision.
“Lucy was the most engaging and positive victim I’ve had in any case. She really helped the court understand the impact the attack had on her and that helped the court make the right decision.
“We take violence against women very seriously. If you attack a woman, this will be the outcome.”