Clubber who smashed bottle in woman’s face gets suspended sentence

Slap on the wrist for clubber who smashed bottle in woman's face 13 years ago

A court has delivered a surprisingly light sentence to a man it convicted of grievously injuring a woman when he smashed a beer bottle in her face in a club in Paceville 13 years ago.

43-year-old Gordon Farrugia had been accused of grievous bodily harm following an incident which occurred at the club in January 2006.

Both Farrugia and his victim had testified, given the court very different versions of the events leading up to the woman’s injury.

The woman had claimed to have been having a drink at the bar when two women who were dancing nearby jostled and pushed her. Harsh words were exchanged, before the situation descended into hair-pulling and fisticuffs. Bouncers had eventually separated the female clubbers.

At one point a man, later identified as Farrugia, appeared out of nowhere and smashed a beer bottle which he had been carrying, into the victim’s face. The woman suffered lacerations to her forehead caused by glass and slight fractures to her nasal bones as a result, doctors later told the court.

But from the witness stand, Farrugia had denied any involvement in the violent incident, claiming that he “wasn’t even there” and didn’t know the victim. The man’s denials found some support in the accounts tendered to the court by friends of his who had been present during the brawl.

To further compound the conflicting evidence, one of the women who had been involved in the initial argument had claimed that she had been hit by the victim first, in the face, with a glass tumbler. This had happened before the victim had been touched by anyone, she claimed.

Magistrate Ian Farrugia declared that the evidence provided by the prosecution was more convincing.

Farrugia was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and handed an 18-month sentence, suspended for three years.

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