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Jeremy Kyle woman jailed over glassing
2:53pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
A woman who reacted to taunts about her appearance on the Jeremy Kyle show by smashing a glass in a bride-to-be's face has been jailed for five years.
Mum of one Jennifer Eckley, 27, scarred victim Lucy Steers for life when she glassed her at her engagement party at a hotel in Newent.
Ms Steers, a 28 year old nurse, has been left with a livid v-shaped scar on the bridge of her nose and is to undergo plastic surgery next week.
She has been off work with depression since the attack last December and her relationship with her fiance Craig Mortimer has broken up.
During Eckley's trial at Gloucester crown court the jury was told that two years before the assault she had appeared on the controversial Jeremy Kyle show.
She was involved in a programme about domestic abuse.
Afterwards, the jury heard, she regularly had fun poked at her in her home town of Newent, Glos, about her appearance on the show.
She told the jury in evidence that she realised now she had been 'silly' ever to take part in the programme.
The court heard that on the night of 1st December Eckley was at a hen party at the George Hotel in Newent at the same time as Ms Steers' engagement party.
After comments had been made by people at the hotel about her Kyle show appearance Eckley walked up to Ms Steers and jabbed a glass into her face. It broke Ms Steers' nose and caused a 2cm cut on the bridge of the nose and two other facial cuts.
In a victim impact statement by Ms Steers which was read to the court she said "I have been told by the consultant that the scarring will be permanent.
"I now have to live with it as a constant reminder for the rest of my life.
"I feel my scar has made me look like someone who fights and people will judge me by it.
"My relationship with Craig has ended. It was a 19 months relationship and this incident has left me feeling distraught.
"I have only just started going to the shops again. I have been signed off my work until the case is finished owing to me being diagnosed with depression.
"My father has given up his job (he was a manager at the George Hotel). I know he wishes he had been working that night so he could have prevented it. I feel like I am responsible for this."
Jailing Eckley, who has a young daughter, the judge Recorder Richard Davison, said she had received only 'minimum provocation' yet she had made a 'determined and deliberate' attack on Ms Steers.
"You caused her devastating injuries - scarring a pretty young woman for life," he said. "We have seen the photographs (of her injuries) and they are horrific."
Eckley, a childminder, of Foley rd, Newent, Glos, had denied wounding Ms Steers with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm on Dec 1st last year but was unanimously convicted by the jury.
She was cleared of a second charge of assaulting another woman, Kate Taylor, at the engagement party an hour earlier.
She admitted a charge of assault by beating Ms Taylor's sister, Nicola, whose hair she pulled when she saw her in the pub and realised she was her partner's ex-girlfriend.
During the trial prosecutor Julian Kesner told the jury the engagement party "should have been one of the happiest days in Lucy Steers’ life - but it became one of the worst."
Just before she glassed Ms Steers, Eckley told her: 'I suppose you think you’re a f****** pretty bitch - well you won’t be now,.'
Later, when she was arrested, she told police she would never get work as a childminder again because she had glassed someone, Yet despite making that comment she went on to deny to the jury that she had a glass in her hand.
In evidence she claimed that Lucy Steers had been among people who taunted her about the Jeremy Kyle show on the night of the attack.
She said she told Ms Steers 'I'm glad you find my pain funny. You don't know what I have been through."
Eckley claimed Ms Steers told her she had found the show hilarious and had Googled it to watch it again.
Later, she alleged, she got into a scuffle with Ms Steers but they were both fighting each other and she did not have a glass in her hand. She said she did not know how Ms Steers got injured or how her own hand was cut.
Before Eckley was sentenced today her solicitor Jason Coulter asked the court to accept there had been 'at least a degree of provocation, albeit mild' from Ms Steers to cause Eckley to attack her.
Her reaction was a 'spontaneous moment of blind madness' which was totally unjustified, he added.
He handed the court testimonials for Eckley whom, he said, had been hoping to make a career in child minding and had been due to start training in January this year.
Mr Coulter told the court that Eckley's appearance on Jeremy Kyle had been 'about an abusive relationship with another.'
"As a consequence of that she was the subject of some discussion and perhaps tittle tattle in the small Newent community prior to this particular night."
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