A punter launched a wine glass at a woman’s face after her ‘distinctive accent’ led to a violent row at a pub in the West Midlands.
Wine drinker Marie-Christine Fleurie flicked a cigarette at the victim and her daughter outside the Marston Green Tavern in Solihull, Birmingham.
An argument erupted, which later continued inside the venue where CCTV captured the 34-year-old raising her hand and red wine flying through the air.
The victim suffered a number of facial injuries including one which penetrated her eyeball and prompted fears it may have to be replaced with an artificial one.
Fleurie, of Rochester in Kent, was set to go on trial at Birmingham Crown Court earlier this week, but admitted ‘unlawful wounding’ on the basis she acted in self defence.
She was dealt a 16-month suspended sentence and is now unsure whether she will keeping her ‘project manager’ job after being ordered to pay the victim £4,000 in compensation, Birmingham Live reports.
The attack took place around 10pm on February 21, 2020 when the victim, who had been dining with her family, went outside for a cigarette.
Prosecutor Stefan Kolodynski stated Fleurie appeared to be “worse for wear” at the time of the incident.
He said: “Due to Ms Fleurie’s distinctive accent, she [the victim] found it difficult to hear.
“In a passing comment to her boyfriend she asked what the defendant was saying. Her impression was Ms Fleurie was already agitated.
“A verbal altercation quickly escalated and Ms Fleurie became confrontational and aggressive. At the time she had a cigarette in one hand and a wine glass in the other.
She said: “Watch it girl I’m a police officer’. The complainant responded that she didn’t care if she was a police officer or not, there was no need to behave in the way she did.
Angered, Ms Fleurie flicked a cigarette butt to her and her daughter hitting her daughter in the chest.
“It prompted the complainant to say ‘what are you doing?’. It escalated into an argument and both began shouting.”
The prosecutor added that the disorder moved inside the pub and CCTV captured ‘the flash of red wine going through the air’ after Fleurie moved the glass from one hand to another.
The victim required multiple surgical procedures to her face, suffered irritation to her right eye months after the incident and had to wear an eye mask.
She also has scars from the incident and now feels uncomfortable in crowded places, the court was told.
During mitigation, defence lawyer John Fitzgerald argued that Fleurie did not intentionally flick the cigarette at the victim and her daughter emphasising that she committed her crime while acting in ‘significant self defence’ to being attacked herself.
He said the university graduate had worked her way up from architect to project manager at her company and hoped to complete a masters degree in renewable energy.
Mr Fitzgerald added: “But for this she is a hard-working lady. She looks back on that day with huge regret.
“She looks at the photographs and is horrified. She didn’t want to do that to her.”
J udge Heidi Kubik QC told the defendant: “I have seen the CCTV of the build-up to that evening. It does not present you in a good light.
“You could have walked away however I accept that I’m to sentence you on the agreed basis of plea that in the moments before the incident with which we are primary concerned, the complainant can be seen coming towards you with speed and you perceived the need to defend yourself.
“But you used excessive force in order to do so and you are responsible in law for unlawfully causing that significant injury.”