Thursday 25 December 2014

Suspended sentence for actress who left barman permanently scarred after glassing incident

Published 18/12/2012 | 19:09

An actress and Trinity graduate has avoided jail after glassing a barman in the face and leaving him permanently scarred.

Tanya Wilson (27), of Eugene Street in Dublin 8, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at The Mezz in Temple Bar on the night of 2nd February this year.

She also pleaded guilty to two other counts of assault and one of obstructing gardai.

The court heard she slapped and head-butted another staff member, punching a garda several times and obstructed other gardaí by attempting to kick and hit them while they were searching her.

Giving evidence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Garda Paul Grey said the young Brazilian barman was going to collect ice in the Mezz bar when he saw Wilson in the store room area arguing with another staff member and saying, “Everything is shit, this is a shit party”.

The barman advised his colleague not to talk to her because she was too drunk, but a short time later he noticed the blonde girl trying to get into the cellar.

When he asked her to leave the staff area she said “What's your problem?”

The barman responded “You're my problem.”

Gda Grey told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that Tanya Wilson then slapped the barman across the face and chased him with a glass in her hand when he tried to get away.

He said that she was acting “really crazy” and he put up his hand up to try and block her. He then followed her out a fire escape and put his hand on her arm to calm her down.

Wilson then said “You can't touch me, I'm a girl,” and smashed the Bulmers glass into the barman's face.

He grabbed her arm and brought her to the bar while she was screaming: “Let me go, let me go; he attacked me.”

The court heard the barman was bleeding very badly from his face when he went to get security.

The gardai were called before he was put in a taxi to the Mater Hospital where he waited for seven hours to be treated.

He received 3 stitches across the bridge of his nose which were later removed leaving a scar, and was also treated for 8 or 9 secondary wounds including small cuts to both eyelids, bruising and a black eye.

Meanwhile, another staff member at the Mezz Bar asked a colleague to get a tissue for Wilson's bleeding hand and tried to calm her down.

He said she became calm for a few minutes and then got very aggressive again and tried to slap him five or six times, connecting with one slap in the face and one punch under the chin.

She also head-butted this staff member in the chest and eventually had to be restrained on the floor.

Staff said she was extremely drunk and was using obscene language and screaming.

Gda Grey said when he arrived at the scene Wilson punched him several times and said “Don't fucking touch me.” She was very aggressive and vomited in the garda car on the way to Pearse Street Station.

The court heard that when Wilson was taken down to a cell to be searched by two female gardaí she was “roaring abuse” and attempting to hit and kick gardaí.

The following morning Wilson was cooperative with gardaí, identified herself on CCTV footage and said she remembered ordering a shot with her friends, but that all she recalled after that was “a commotion and being arrested.”

Defence counsel Brendan Foley BL told the court that his client had no previous convictions, had immediately accepted full responsibility for her actions and was extremely remorseful.

He said she had blacked out twice previously that year from alcohol and that after this incident had immediately sought treatment for her alcohol problems and was attending psychotherapy.

Wilson brought €2,500 to court as a token of her remorse, which was accepted on behalf of the Brazilian barman.

The court heard that since graduating from Trinity College, Wilson has worked as a voice-over actress and set up a production company which put on three successful shows. However she is currently on social welfare.

Judge Patrick McCartan imposed an 18 month sentence, suspended on condition that she maintains good behaviour and continues with her alcohol counselling.

Judge McCartan said the crime was “appalling”, adding that it was “remarkable that a young woman like yourself, who has never been in trouble of any sort, would find the capacity to swing a glass into the face of another person, with potentially catastrophic consequences. That takes some doing. ” he said.

“This young man was just doing his job, and now he is left with a scar; you know the implications of that from your own profession,” he said.

In a victim impact statement, the young barman said the incident cost him €775 euro, including €500 in lost wages, €100 for the Accident and Emergency visit; €150 for counselling and €25 for the taxi to the hospital.

He said he now felt uncomfortable and afraid going to work and had considered giving up his job, but that he had been to three sessions of counselling to work through his difficulties.

He said he believed he was very lucky not to have lost an eye, and added that his mother who lives in Brazil is now extremely anxious about him.



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