A man who left a young mum permanently scarred in a terrifying bottle attack has been spared jail because the Crown decided the incident was not an assault.
Francis Monaghan was told he would have been sent to prison for two years if prosecutors had “insisted” on an assault charge.
Monaghan tried to smash a glass bottle into the face of a man he was fighting at Liquid Nightclub in Dundee – but missed, instead striking his then friend Debbie Strachan.
The Stirling mum was left with horrific injuries which door staff at the club tried to pass off as having been caused by her falling and hitting her head on a banister.
The case made headlines last year when Miss Strachan posted horrific images to Facebook of her injuries and bemoaned the action taken by door staff – who told medics she had been injured in a fall – and police, who initially let Monaghan walk free.
Medics later extracted glass from “full thickness” wounds beside her eye.
Sheriff Alistair Brown said there was “no question” Monaghan, 27, of Ochil Crescent in Stirling, would have been facing a lengthy prison term had he been convicted of assault.
The sheriff also added that had he had to decide at trial what the offence was it would have been an assault.
Instead the Crown accepted Monaghan’s guilty plea to a charge of culpable and reckless conduct – which meant the sheriff had to “set aside” the parts of the incident that amounted to assault, despite Monaghan using “cruel excess” by wielding the bottle.
Defence solicitor Frazer McCreadie told the court: “He picked up the bottle above his head and decided he was going to throw it.
“Unfortunately what happened thereafter is fully narrated.He was not looking for trouble and it is something he very much regrets.”
Sheriff Alastair Brown imposed a community payback order with 255 hours’ unpaid work and ordered he pay £750 in compensation to Miss Strachan.For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Courier or try our digital edition.