Northern Ireland

Julie Apsley jailed for 'glassing' woman

Belfast Crown Court at Laganside
Image caption Belfast Crown Court was told Apsley had led a difficult life before the attack in 2010

A County Down mother-of-five who pushed a glass into another woman's face has been jailed at Belfast Crown Court.

Julie Apsley, from Rathmullan Drive, Newtownards, had pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) to Lisa Smyth on 28 October 2010.

The court heard the two women were in a car with other friends when there was a "robust verbal exchange".

Apsley lashed out, striking Ms Smyth with a glass and causing a substantial laceration to her right cheek.

The injured woman underwent plastic surgery but has been left with a significant scar running from her eye to her nose.

Father killed

Prosecuting lawyer Kirsten McKevitt told the judge that in later life, the victim's face may "droop" due to her injury.

When she was arrested and interviewed, 28-year-old Apsley denied doing anything wrong but she later pleaded guilty to a single charge of GBH.

A defence lawyer asked the judge to consider a suspended sentence, outlining the difficult life his client had led up to the time of the offence.

John McCrudden QC told the court Apsley's mother had walked out when she was just six weeks old. Her father, Mark Apsley, had spent time in prison before being shot dead in December 2002.

'Serious consequences'

He said the defendant's life had been blighted by drink and drugs and she had been in a relationship with a man who had physically abused her.

Mr McCrudden added that his client had now "turned her life around completely".

However, Judge Corinne Philpott QC said the offence was too serious to impose a suspended sentence.

She told a remorseful Apsley it was important that the period of time she would be separated from her youngest child was "as short as possible".

But the judge added that Ms Smyth had suffered "serious consequences from which she will never be completely away".

She ordered the defendant to spend six months of the 18-month sentence in jail and the remainder on licensed parole.