Mum blinded by stiletto heel

Jailed - Amy Smith
Jailed - Amy Smith
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A SINGLE mum was blinded in one eye after a drunken Wigan teenager repeatedly stamped in her face while wearing stilettos.

A court heard that Joanne Brown’s career dreams were destroyed by the sickening injury, inflicted in an all-night bar in the town centre.

Her attacker, Amy Smith, who is herself expecting a baby next month, dabbed away tears in the dock as the judge also vented his anger at problems caused by binge drinking.

He singled out councils for allowing all-night opening, although Wigan’s today hit back saying they were obliged to follow central government licensing guidelines.

Judge Ian Trigger said: “Our town and city centres are becoming, for decent law-abiding people, no-go areas, and the sole reason for that is the consumption by young people, women as well as men, of excessive quantities of alcohol.

“This is fuelled by the ready access of alcohol at places such as the Pada Lounge, Wigan, which I am told remains open over the weekend until 6am. (The business has since changed its name).

“It beggars belief that local authorities permit venues such as that to remain open until the hour of day when people are starting to get up.

“You were just 17 on May 25, 2009, and yet you over-indulged with excessive alcohol, and the consequence was almost inevitable,” he told Smith.

“Society is becoming increasingly fed-up with the boorish, drunken antics of people such as yourself.”

He said her “drunken and boorish manner” involved pushing people on a raised dance floor, and Joanne Brown, then a community support worker for the mentally ill, became her victim.

She had hopes of a managerial role, but Smith had dashed her dreams.

“Because of some imagined slight you, wearing high heels, approached her and stamped with one of those high-heeled shoes, not once but twice on the prone and defenceless victim.

“It was an act which had horrendous consequences for her, consequences which will be with her for the rest of her life.”

Ms Brown, a 34-year-old single mum, wrote to the judge, and he said in this she told of her psychological damage as well as physical injuries.

She wrote: “The person who did the assault on me has not only destroyed me as a person, but as also taken my dreams away.

“I had hopes of moving and working within the prison service, but this will never happen now becauseof the loss of my eyesight.”

She has undergone three operations, and faces at least one more on her left eye, to try to improve the movement, although she is permanently blind in it. Her optical nerve was snapped by the stamping, her eye socket fractured, her left upper lip left scarred, and she has lack of sensation in her left cheek.

Sentencing the now 18-year-old Smith, of Bolton Road, Ashton, to 33 months’ detention, Judge Trigger said he took into account her guilty plea to wounding, her age and the fact her son is due in a month’s time.

Graham Pickavance, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that Ms Brown had gone out into Wigan town centre with friends on the night of the incident, and they ended up in the Pada Lounge.

She later saw her friend Stacey on a raised area, known as the box, arguing with Smith and she told her to come off. As she turned, she was pushed by Smith, who was screaming and shouting at her. She ended up on the floor, and was left dazed after being struck in the face. She left the club with blood pouring down her face, and was taken to hospital.

Two club-goers witnessed Smith twice stamping on Ms Brown’s face. She was arrested on December 4 that year, and claimed that while drunk she had a fight after being struck, but denied stamping on the victim.

Catherine Rimmer, defending, said: “She is very distressed and completely horrified by her behaviour that night. She is extremely remorseful.”

She said she did not recollect the incident, but accepted the witnesses’ accounts. She did not go out often, and normally stayed in with her partner of three years.

She was in employment at the time, and had hopes of going to college to study hair and beauty.

“Her references show she had acted out of character, but does not walk away from the fact that it was a terrible, terrible incident,” said Miss Rimmer.

After the hearing Ms Brown, who lives in Wigan, said that she was pleased with the sentence.

But she added: “I suffer panic attacks which stop me from going out socialising, and I no longer go into Wigan town centre. I am on medication for the panic attacks, but came today to get closure. I see a psychologist every week.”

Ms Brown, who has a 12-year-old son, said that in her letter to the judge “I told him how I feel from my heart.”

Judge Trigger said: “There is more than a suggestion that the proprietors of the Pada Lounge may have failed to exercise proper control over its employees.

“There is a suggestion she (Ms Brown) was dealt with inappropriately following the disgraceful incident.”

Mr Pickavance replied that he would ask the Crown Prosecution Service to look into it.”