Exmouth mum jailed for glassing a stranger

PUBLISHED: 15:06 20 June 2014 | UPDATED: 15:06 20 June 2014

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A single mum from Exmouth has been jailed after glassing a stranger in a pub.

A single mother from Exmouth has been jailed for hurling a glass into the face of a stranger because he was not interested in talking to her about her toddler son.

Exeter Crown Court heard how Charlotte Needs, from Withycombe Raleigh, was on a rare night out when she became upset with victim James Skinner, who was sitting opposite her at a pub in Exmouth.

She hurled her drink at him, picked up another glass and threw the contents across the table at him and then threw the empty glass into his face from point blank range.

The entire incident was captured by CCTV which covered the beer garden of the Spoken pub, in The Strand, Exmouth.

The court heard how the glass narrowly missed Mr Skinner’s eye but left a cut on his eyebrow, which needed hospital treatment.

The victim is an amateur footballer and boxer and had to take time off from the sports because of the injury.

Needs, aged 27, of Lyndhurst Road, Exmouth, admitted causing actual bodily harm and was jailed for four months by Judge Barry Cotter, QC.

He told her: “It was only by sheer luck and divine intervention this injury was not more serious. He could have lost an eye.

“You were sat across a table and talking to him when something he said was a trigger for your loss of temper. You used a glass as a weapon in an unprovoked assault.

“He was minding his own business and you chose to speak to him. Anything he may have said about your son does not approach provocation.

“The victim had to take time off work because he was embarrassed by the injury. He is an amateur boxer but seems to be taking it all in his stride.”

Miss Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said Needs was in the pub beer garden at about 10 pm on the night of October 5 last year sat on the opposite side of the table from the victim.

She said CCTV did not show any interaction between the two people, who did not know each other. It showed Needs throwing the contents of two glasses at Mr Skinner and swinging a glass which she threw just inches from his face.

The glass caused a wound just above his eye, which needed stitching in hospital, and bruising to the side of his face.

Mr Skinner made a victim impact statement in which he said he felt embarrassed at work and his boxing and football activities were affected.

Mr Nick Bradley, defending, said Needs is a single mother who is the sole carer for 18 month old son. At the time she had just left her parents’ home and was unstable and depressed. She had since found a new home and settled down.

Mr Bradley said: “The injury could have been much worse and is masked by the victim’s eyebrow. She does not have an issue with alcohol. As a single mother her opportunities to go out were limited to a couple of times every six months.

“She accepts when she went out that because of her non-use of alcohol her tolerance level was low on the night in question.

“As far as she can recall he made some remark when he was talking to her. “She was talking about her child, who was very much the focus of her life, and the complainant had not been interested.”

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