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Chelmsford woman fined £3,500 for smashing pint glass into woman’s face leaving permanent scar

A Chelmsford woman has been fined £3,500 for glassing a bar worker and scarring her for life.

Sophie Kingham, 22 and of Howe Green Road in Purleigh, attacked Rebecca Rolfe in the early hours of October 3 last year in The Swan pub on Maldon High Street.

She was handed a £3,500 fine — £2,500 of which will go to her victim — and a 15-month suspended jail sentence at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday (April 21), having admitted unlawful wounding.

Ms Rolfe, a bar worker, had an argument with Kingham’s brother Harry Hayward during a party at Heybridge Swifts Football Club in Scraley Road on the night of October 2.

Prosecutor Matthew Morgan told the court: “Mr Hayward said he didn’t like her and he would get his sister to smash her teeth in.”

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Kingham, who works for a precision engineering company, sent Ms Rolfe a Facebook message shortly before 12.30am asking if she was coming to The Swan.

Ms Rolfe left the party for the pub, where she was approached by Kingham, who said: “What is this I hear about you hitting my brother?”

Mr Morgan added: “Ms Rolfe denied that, but Ms Kingham was aggressive and said ‘Let’s go outside and sort this out.'”

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This suggestion was ignored, but at 2.20am she approached her victim again in the beer garden.

Kingham asked her: “So did you hit him? I don’t like that.”

She then threw the contents of her pint on Ms Rolfe, who poured her own drink on Kingham.

Mr Morgan said: “Ms Kingham smashed her empty pint glass into Ms Rolfe’s head. Glass went everywhere.

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“She instantly felt pain and knew she had been hurt. Police and ambulance were called.”

Ms Rolfe, who suffered a laceration close to the left eye socket, received an apology from her attacker a couple of weeks later in the same pub.

But Kingham maintained she had not been involved in a fight throughout six police interviews, despite CCTV footage showing her lunge at Ms Rolfe.

On the day her trial for GBH was due to start, it was called off because she accepted a charge of unlawful wounding.

In a statement Ms Rolfe revealed she has been prescribed anti-anxiety medication as a result of the assault.

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She said: “I feel I have changed as a person and become fragile. It has lowered my confidence to the point I don’t want to go out and socialise at all.

“On the rare occasions I have been out I have found myself looking over my shoulder.

“I am always concerned the suspect will come in to the bar or someone who knows her.

“I have found myself being asked lots of questions about my scar by customers, which has affected my anxiety further.”

“Her scar will be a permanent reminder of what you did to her. You could have blinded your victim.”

Janick Fielding, mitigating, said a “desperately unfortunate” chain of events had led to “a fall in mental health” for Ms Kingham, who suffers from anxiety.

Shortly before the assault her stepmother was placed in the Linden Centre mental health clinic, while her “violent and abusive” father moved his new, pregnant girlfriend into the family home.

Mr Fielding added: “His girlfriend made a plea to Ms Kingham for help, because she had been abused by him.

“She had had her hair pulled and cigarette burns across her body, and been pulled through dog faeces.”

After Kingham became “nurse and protector” to her father’s partner, she was wrongly given a Prozac prescription, which saw her spend a night in hospital.

Upon her return home, it was her father’s suggestion that she go to The Swan, Mr Fielding told the court.

Handing down the sentence, Judge Christopher Morgan said: “Whatever the rights and wrongs of the argument between Ms Rolfe and your brother, it gives you no justification in confronting Ms Rolfe and assaulting her.

“Her scar will be a permanent reminder of what you did to her. You could have blinded your victim.”

Kingham was ordered to complete a 40-day rehabilitation requirement. Her sentence will be suspended for two years.

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