A young Northern Ireland mum who stamped on the face of another woman during a fight following a christening party has been jailed for a year.
Defence QC Eilis McDermott had argued the case of 28-year-old beautician Jamie Louise Ward was exceptional as she had a baby son.
According to experts, the boy would suffer as a result of any separation due to imprisonment.
However, Belfast Crown Court Judge Patrick Lynch QC said that while he was impressed by psychiatric and other reports, it was frequently the case that “the innocent” were left to suffer because of the actions of others.
Judge Lynch later added that those like Ward who engaged in street violence must accept they will go to jail as a result.
He said that attacks of the kind carried out by Ward can cause serious brain injuries, although it was accepted there was no intention to cause grievous bodily injury in this case.
Ward, from Springfield Court, Belfast, had pleaded guilty to attacking another woman outside a Stewartstown Road GAA club following a christening party in August 2008.
Prosecutor Amanda Brady said the woman had left the club to find a friend being attacked and ran to her aid, only to be pulled back by the hair by a woman fitting Ward's description.
Ms Brady said that Ward was seen by a number of witnesses stamping on the woman's face two or three times.
In her defence, Ms McDermott said that, fortunately, no real serious harm was caused in this case, unlike many others.
Ward, she added, has not drunk since because she was “terrified” of getting involved in such a situation again, and that she had clearly expressed her shame and remorse at what she had done.
Ward was jailed after agreeing to complete two years’ probation.