April 27, 2018 3.50 pm This story is over 66 months old

Pregnant woman bailed to give birth after blinding man in bar glassing

Victim: “I lost the eye. It’s gone. I’ve still got ongoing operations”.

A pregnant woman will be allowed to give birth before facing “a substantial jail term” for blinding a man for life in a glass attack in a bar in Skegness.

Amy Coleman, 30, of Mel Marshall Way, Wrangle, faces at least 12 years in jail, but as she is due to give birth next month she was granted bail to appear back before Lincoln Crown Court in June for sentencing.

Coleman denied she was the person who glassed Carl Benham during an incident in the Marine Boathouse at Skegness.

But a jury at Lincoln Crown Court found her guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Benham on February 25, 2017.

Carl was left blind in one eye after being glassed at a bar in Skegness

Judge John Pini QC told her: “I am just persuaded to adjourn the sentence to allow you to have your child at liberty.

“I am not sure that it is a merciful thing to adjourn your sentence because there has to be a substantial and immediate prison sentence. There is no way I can avoid it.

“Carl Benham has been blinded for life. The starting point is 12 years. It’s not a figure I have plucked out of the air. That is mandated by the Sentencing Council.”

The attack happened inside the Marine Boat House Bar. Photo: Google Street View

During the trial Mr Benham told the jury the incident happened on the night he was celebrating his 30th birthday.

He said “I was out with my mate having a drink. I was in a good mood.”

Mr Benham said he briefly left the premises to get some money from a cash machine and when he returned he found his way to the bar blocked as the place was very busy.

“There were two blokes stood there with two women. There was no way I could get through. I tapped the man on the shoulder and got through.”

He said the two women began shouting at him and one of them threw beer over him.

“The beer was all over my face. The bouncers were doing absolutely nothing.”

He said he pushed one of the women away from him and told the jury: “After that it was all a bit of a blur for me. I was still trying to wipe the beer out of my hair and my face.

“I could see a glass coming my way. I couldn’t do anything about it. The little one threw it. Everything just went black.

“I knew my face was cut. I couldn’t see. It flapped all my cheek open.

“I made my way out of the door I had come in. My mate came with me. I went to the kebab house to get some tissues. I put the tissue to my eye and it kept disappearing.”

He said he tried to get back into the Marine Boathouse but the door staff would not let him in so he walked home. His girlfriend saw his injury and called for an ambulance.

“I lost the eye. It’s gone. I’ve still got ongoing operations,” he said.

Siward James-Moore, prosecuting, told the jury that incident happened after Coleman, whom he described as “a very angry woman” confronted Mr Benham.

“She was shouting at him. He accepts that he shouted back at her. At that point a female threw a drink over him.

“He had just started to clean himself up when the same female came towards him. He pushed her causing her to stumble backwards. At this point another female held a pint glass in her hand and threw the glass hitting his face damaging his eyeball. All he was aware of was his mouth filling up with blood.”

Two witnesses told the jury that the glass was thrown by a woman in a black strappy top. The jury heard that on the night Amy Coleman was wearing a black strappy top.

Amy Coleman later told police that she did not assault Mr Benham and did not witness the incident in which he lost his eye.

In evidence she claimed that Mr Benham made “disgusting” sexual comments to her on the dance floor and she began arguing with him before complaining to door staff. Mr Benham denied making any comments and a doorman said Coleman only complained of being punched.

Coleman told the jury “I was being gobby. He was giving me as good back. I was really close to him. The bouncer and Mr Benham’s friend were between us.”

She denied she then glassed Mr Benham and said “I remember the bouncer was there. I just heard a gasp. The next minute I looked up at Mr Benham and his face was bleeding.”

“I genuinely don’t know how he was glassed by anyone. It wasn’t me.”