23-year-old accounts manager, Claire Stephens, has today walked free from court after smashing a wine glass into the neck of a student during a night out on June 11 2011. Claire Stephens from Roydon, Essex, and Rachel Spikula, an American national, knocked into each other on the dance floor at Club 49 in London’s West End, Southwark Crown Court heard yesterday (Wednesday May 23). While trying to shove Miss Spikula away, Stephens pushed a wine glass into the victim’s neck, severing an artery. Spikula was rushed to hospital in a passing ambulance, the luck of which very well may have saved her life. Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said that the injury has "gravely changed her life and had a terrible effect on her family, and no sentence I pass can change that”, "She now has three arteries feeding the brain rather than four, which has been for her, as far as she is concerned, a totally life-changing experience...She suffers from significant loss of concentration and she will have to have continual treatment and angiograms every year.” The judge handed Stephens a 10-month prison sentence suspended for two years as well as a three-month curfew between 9pm and 6am, she was told to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay £9,100 in compensation as well as £500 towards the prosecution costs.
'Decent young woman' who smashed wine glass into students neck walks free from court