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Woman banned from Essex after glass attack

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

A KENT woman has been banned from going to Essex for a year after a family reunion ended in violence.

Stephanie Hinchcliffe, 50, of Millfield Close, Hawkinge, near Folkestone, smashed a glass on her cousin Pamela Cutts’ face, leaving a 3cm cut that needed five stitches.

Maidstone Crown Court heard how Mrs Cutts had travelled from her home in Maldon, Essex, to Folkestone last June to scatter her father’s ashes.

John Fitzgerald, prosecuting, said Mrs Cutts had not seen other family members for more than 30 years. She met Hinchcliffe, who was celebrating her wedding anniversary, at the Black Bull pub in Folkestone.

The court heard the two women’s fathers had not liked each other and the conversation became heated when they began reminiscing. As a karaoke event in the pub was loud, the pair went outside to talk.

Hinchcliffe asked Mrs Cutts: “Why do you hate my mother and father so much?” Mrs Cutts replied that she remembered Hinchcliffe’s father in a very bad light.

“It seems that was the spark that caused violence to erupt,” said Mr Fitzgerald. “She became aggressive and was shouting at the complainant.”

Mrs Cutts did not want a confrontation and headed back to the bar. But Hinchcliffe went after her and struck her with a half-pint glass.

Hinchcliffe admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm, and was told by Judge Andrew Patience QC: “There is no excuse for such behaviour.

“It is potentially extremely dangerous and in extreme cases can be fatal.”

Mrs Cutts was thought to have been left with a scar which “for a woman is unpleasant and can affect the self-esteem”.

The judge added: “Offences of this kind are very serious and normally attract a prison sentence. I am, not without some hesitation, persuaded I can suspend the sentence.”

Hinchcliffe was given 12 months suspended for two years and was banned from entering Essex during 12 months supervision. She will also be under a curfew for six months and tagged.

Judge Patience ordered Hinchcliffe to pay the victim £250 compensation, despite hearing she was of limited means.

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