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'I wouldn't be scarred for life if attacker had done her time'

A CHARITY worker left scarred for life by a woman on temporary release from jail has said it wouldn't have happened if the prison system was working properly.

Martina O'Donnell (34) had her scar examined by a judge at Donegal town Circuit Court before he sentenced her attacker to two years in prison.

Harriett Higgins (21) pleaded guilty to throwing a glass at Ms O'Donnell at a charity event at Dom's Bar in the town on May 30, 2010.

Ms O'Donnell had organised the event to raise money for victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Higgins read an apology to her victim in court and had told gardai when she was arrested: "I didn't mean to. I feel really bad about it. I can't go to jail for this. I had drink taken."

But speaking after the case yesterday Ms O'Donnell told the Irish Independent: "The fact is that if she (Higgins) had not been released so soon into her previous sentence, I would not be scarred for life today.

"There were also the two years from when I was attacked until this week in court when she (Higgins) was about Donegal town."

She admitted that she "felt sorry" for Higgins when she saw her being handcuffed in court.

"The system isn't right though," she said, "but unfortunately there is nothing I can do about that."

Judge O'Hagan sentenced Higgins to two years in prison, suspending the last 12 months.

Irish Independent