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Ashleigh Harris left man with 'horrific' head wound after hurling glass bottle at him in Margate

By Paul Hooper

A woman left a former friend with a “horrific” head wound after hurling a glass bottle at him.

Matthew Foster needed nine stitches after he was struck by the weapon, thrown by Ashleigh Harris in a heated row.

Harris had originally been charged with wounding Foster intending to cause the serious injury.

Ashleigh Harris and victim Mathew Foster argued after they had been in Marine Gardens in Margate. Picture: Google Street View
Ashleigh Harris and victim Mathew Foster argued after they had been in Marine Gardens in Margate. Picture: Google Street View

But before her trial was due to start at Canterbury Crown Court, the 46-year-old, of The Parade, admitted a lesser charge of unlawful wounding.

Prosecutor Angela Knight told how Harris and the victim had been in Marine Gardens in the town on June 5 and argued after drinking.

She said that later Mr Foster approached Harris to apologise but another row broke out.

As he turned away he was struck over the head by a bottle thrown by Harris.

Ms Knight said the bottle broke and the victim suffered a deep cut to the back of his head which needed stitches.

Harris has more than 30 previous offences, which include two for violence against a police officer more than 20 years ago.

The court heard most of her offending has been shoplifting – but this was the first offence for six years.

“These sorts of incidents can occur with street drinking..." - Judge Rupert Lowe

Judge Rupert Lowe told her: “You plainly had an unfortunate series of experiences one way or another and I suspect from what I have heard you were a street drinker.

“These sorts of incidents can occur with street drinking.

“Now that you are sober you can understand that if everyone thought it was OK to behave badly and throw bottles at someone’s head there would be no society.”

The judge said that Harris was “a street drinker” and ran the risk of “this sort of injury” being caused.

He added: “Matthew Foster was a friend of yours.

“You fell out with him and it makes no difference why you fell out, because violence in public with a weapon cannot be justified.

“He was in a lot of pain and having a lot of bleeding from a wound.

“You were not immediately remorseful because your remark was ‘that’s what you get for being mouthy’.”

The judge added: “If that was what people got for being mouthy, then this whole country would be a battlefield.

“This was a very serious assault with a weapon causing a very nasty wound and significant pain and permanent scarring to quite a young man,” he added.

Harris received an 18-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and was ordered to undergo drug rehabilitation.

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