A mother of three has been jailed for six years for biting off a chunk of an Aylesbury woman’s nose during an attack at Butlin’s.
Tina Love, 29, from Acacia Road, Dartford, was found guilty of wounding with intent and was today (Friday) sentenced to six years in prison in what the judge called a ‘vicious attack’ that had come after a ‘pathetic dispute’.
Victim Julie McDonald, from Aylesbury, said she had been left ‘mentally and physically scarred for life’, and was now unable to breathe properly. “The assault was unwarranted, unprovoked and has left me scarred for life,” she said.
Sentencing Tina Love at Chichester Crown Court, the judge recorder Mark Milliken-Smith said: “You undertook this attack with the intention of causing Ms McDondald really serious harm.
“Quite rightly the jury rejected your plea of self defence.”
The court heard how in April, 2013, Ms McDonald was enjoying a holiday in Butlin’s in Bognor Regis with her three children, then aged 16, nine and 14.
Love was staying at the holiday resort with her husband, three children and other family members.
They went to see a pantomime performance of Jack and the Beanstalk at the centre stage in the Manhattan building and during the performance there was an altercation over a table which resulted in the violence.
In a witness statement read out in court, Ms McDonald said: “Up until the night of the incident we had enjoyed our stay at Butlin’s, the children had a great time and we were ready to go home the following morning.
“We attended the theatre that evening looking forward to the pantomime, my two younger children had gone to the front of the stage to watch the show whilst my eldest had taken her homework to the show to study for her exams.
“What happened next has devastated me beyond words.
“The assault was unwarranted, unprovoked and has left me scarred for life.
“I was left in the theatre covered in blood with one of my younger children next to me as I screamed out in shock and pain, I am thankful that my two younger children didn’t witness the assault as this would have been even more distressing than it actually was.
“I was taken from the theatre and had no idea where my children were, I was terrified as I didn’t know what had happened to me and was in agony.
“Having been rushed to hospital I had to go through a surgical procedure to have the segment of my nose re-attached and was left with two black eyes, a scar across the top of my nose and a yellow surgical sponge pinned to my face to hold my nose together.
“After the incident I suffered many sleepless nights due to anxiety and fear. I developed very poor self esteem and was totally lacking in confidence.
“I would not go out of the house unless absolutely necessary and would often rush back to the safety of my home.
“I suffered the ridicule of being stared at by passers by whilst the surgical sponge was still in place on the end of my nose.
“You can’t hide from that, it is there every day staring me in the face when I look in the mirror and I have to deal with this for the rest of my life.
“I still suffer from poor self esteem and lack confidence in myself. I am very wary of people and don’t trust anyone. I still avoid being away from home for too long and have to sometimes delay going out to avoid people. Prior to the assault I was not like this.
“As regards to my nose injury, well I still have and always will have a scar. I cannot breathe very well out of it as the cartilage is gone.
“I feel mentally and psychologically scarred for life.”
Judge Mr Milliken-Smith said: “This is a tragic case in which everyone has suffered, or will suffer, including your own children.
“What is so sad and a rather pathetic example of your own self control is that all of this happened in front of a theatre full of children and their families in the Easter holidays, while they were hoping to enjoy a pantomime.
“It arose from a stupid and childish dispute about whose table was whose.
“You lost control. You launched into a head butt with all your might and then bit her nose. You bit, and bit, with such force and for such a long time that you spat out a bit of her nose on the floor.
“You then tried to leave.”
Speaking in Love’s defence, Neil Guest said she was a loving mother to her three children.
“Given the fact that this has been rumbling on for the best part of two years, the whole family has been affected,” he said.
“She has had to live as a hermit. She gets sniggered at when she goes out. She has suffered depression following the incident.
“She is a caring mother who helps strangers and gives to charity. But what came over her that night, we don’t know.
“It was totally and completely out of character.”