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Woman convicted of gouging rival's eye

Defendant convicted after trial

John Garvey

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John Garvey

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A VICIOUS fight between two women was recounted to Newbury magistrates last week.

In the dock was 26-year-old Sara Marie Chandler of Hamilton Court, Newbury, who denied assaulting her former friend, Beverley Harrad, by gouging her eye.

Sente Masemola, prosecuting, said Ms Chandler was angry because Ms Harrad had intervened in a row she was having with her boyfriend, and had taken his side.

As a result, Ms Chandler had gone in a fury to Pound Lane, Newbury, to confront her rival.

There, the court heard, she had dug her fingers into Ms Harrad’s eye.

Mr Masemola added: “She went for her with two hands... the intent was to injure her. It wasn’t defensive, it was an aggressive movement. That’s what she went to Pound Lane for.”

Ms Chandler denied committing assault by beating.

Giving evidence, she insisted Ms Harrad had grabbed her hair and she had lashed out in self defence, accidentally digging her finger into her eye.

Steve Molloy, defending, said: “It was not deliberate – it was a flailing hand. If it was an attack it would more likely have been a punch.”

However, magistrates convicted Ms Chandler of assault.

After the verdict it was revealed she was in breach of a conditional discharge imposed for a prior conviction for threatening behaviour.

Magistrates ordered pre-sentence reports.

Ms Chandler was bailed meanwhile until September 24.

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