Mother avoids jail after dance floor glassing incident

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A TAPPING mother-of-three has avoided going to prison after what could be described as a glassing incident that left another woman needing surgery.

About 11.30pm on June 29, Sarah Tester (38) was on the dance floor at The Duke Bar and Bistro in Carramar when a friend of the 39-year-old victim backed into her.

Tester is believed to have pushed back, which is when the victim stepped in.

“The accused had a glass in her right hand and lashed out at the victim’s left upper arm two to three times,” the prosecutor told Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday.

“The glass smashed causing a 4cm-long deep laceration.”

The victim was taken to hospital where she required plastic surgery.

Tester’s lawyer said Tester, her husband and some friends had gone to The Duke for dinner but there were no available tables so they continued drinking, consuming six to seven drinks over five hours.

She said after the initial pushes on the dance floor, Tester “saw the victim coming, feared for her safety and reacted”.

Her lawyer said security resolved the incident and Tester did not realise she was holding a glass until she saw blood on her hand.

However, the prosecutor could not believe this.

“Maybe after one strike but on the second strike you would clearly be aware there is a glass in your hand and this happened two or three times,” he said.

Tester’s lawyer said her client “recognises the serious nature” of the charge of unlawful wounding and accepted she should have known there was a glass in her hand.

She said Tester was extremely remorseful and had immediately engaged in counselling and requested Magistrate Sandra De Maio consider a “significant fine” or suspended prison term so she could continue to financially support her family.

The prosecutor said prison should be considered from the start.

“Bar room fights with glass used as a weapon sits high in the public’s interest,” he said.

“Significant injury was caused and the victim will be scarred for life.”

Ms De Maio noted the incident was “relatively minor” on the scale of unlawful wounding and Tester was not used to drinking as much as she did that night.

However, she said it was a “deliberate action and a repeated strike” and she should have been “well aware” of the glass in her hand.

“You injured a woman to the extent she had to undergo cosmetic surgery to have it repaired,” she said.

However she said there was “much to be said” in Tester’s favour including her character references, positive pre-sentence report, no previous record and that she was attending counselling.

Ms De Maio sentenced Tester to 12 months in prison, suspended for 12 months.

“The woman in front of me is not the woman who was on the dance floor on June 29,” she said.

“There is no doubt you have genuine remorse and this has shocked you.”

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