Tyne & Wear

Matthew McCrea jailed for bottle attack on Abbie Keers

Abbie Keers Image copyright Durham Police
Image caption Abbie Keers, nine, was showered with glass in the attack

A man who threw a glass bottle while drunk, shattering a car windscreen and badly injuring a nine-year-old girl, has been jailed for eight months.

Abbie Keers, of Stanley, County Durham, was showered with glass and needed surgery after the 14 February attack.

Matthew McCrea, of Tyne Vale, Stanley, had admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm at an earlier hearing.

Durham Crown Court heard the 24-year-old had drunk 15 bottles of lager before the incident.

Abbie was a front seat passenger in the car with her mother Clare Webb, her grandmother Sarah Webb, and three-year-old sister Lexi, when the bottle was thrown from a subway on the A693 in Stanley.

Image caption Matthew McCrea had drunk 15 bottles of lager before the attack, the court heard

McCrea admitted throwing the bottle in the late night attack but said he had not been aiming at the car.

The nine-year-old needed surgery to remove glass from her face and suffered severe cuts.

She has continued to compete in junior gymnastics events despite her ordeal, the hearing was told.

After the hearing Abbie's grandmother said: "We are very pleased that he has been given a custodial sentence.

"We think it's the right thing and that justice has been done.

"He is 24 years old and should know better. He has shown himself to be a thoughtless, mindless individual, who has scarred my granddaughter.

"I think any parent or grandparent would think the same."

Liam O'Brien, mitigating, said McCrea was ashamed of his actions, which were not premeditated and happened after he had been binge drinking.

Judge Penny Moreland told McCrea an immediate custodial sentence was "unavoidable" because the victim was a child.

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