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Collette O'Flaherty, from Chatham, jailed for 19 months

A mother with a record for violence viciously smashed a wine bottle over a woman’s head after accusing her of sleeping with her boyfriend, a court heard.

Collette O’Flaherty left her victim covered in wine and blood in the street attack at night.

Her lawyer made a plea for a suspended sentence so that she could attempt to win back her two children, who are in foster care.

Collete O'Flaherty. Pic: Kent Police
Collete O'Flaherty. Pic: Kent Police

But a judge said only custody was appropriate for the sustained assault and jailed her for 19 months.

O’Flaherty, of Victoria Road, Chatham, was given an indeterminate sentence in 2011 with a minimum of three years after she armed herself with a loaded pistol.

The latest offence was committed after she had been drinking on February 24 this year and went out with a friend to buy cigarettes and alcohol.

The pair were walking along New Road, Chatham, when O’Flaherty, 28, saw the victim and accused her of sleeping with her partner.

There was a heated exchange before the mother-of-two punched the other woman to the side of the face.

“She felt shock and pain,” prosecutor Bridget Todd told Maidstone Crown Court. “She was punched again to the left side of the face.”

Fearing she would be hit again, the victim pushed O’Flaherty with both hands. O’Flaherty then took a bottle of wine out of her handbag and struck the woman with it.

“It smashed and she was covered in wine and blood,” said Miss Todd.

'This was a disgraceful offence. It was an unprovoked attack' - Judge David Griffith-Jones QC

O’Flaherty began to cry, sobbing: “Why are you doing this? I have lost everything.”

The victim was treated in hospital for an open wound to her scalp, which was glued. She also had bruising to the side of her face.

O’Flaherty, who had 12 previous court appearances for 19 offences, originally denied assault causing actual bodily harm but changed her plea to guilty.

She had a previous conviction for a similar offence having again accused the victim of sleeping with her then boyfriend.

Passing sentence, Judge David Griffith-Jones QC said: “This was a disgraceful offence. It was an unprovoked attack. When she sought to defend herself you took a bottle and smashed it over her head.

Speaking after sentencing, investigating officer PC James Dolby said: “This was a nasty attack which left a woman with facial injuries needing hospital treatment.

“I welcome the sentence that has been passed by the judge and hope it shows other violent offenders that we will not shy away from using all resources at our disposal to ensure they are brought to justice.”

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