Belfast woman jailed for stamping on man's head with her high heel
A young woman who stamped on a man's head using the high heel of her boot as he lay defenceless on the ground has been jailed.
Ashleigh Alexander, a 22-year old mother-of-one from Ballarat Street in east Belfast, and her 25-year-old boyfriend Kenneth Marshall, from Kings Road in Newtownabbey, were both handed a three-year sentence after they admitted causing grievous bodily harm to their victim.
The couple's attack in Belfast city centre was witnessed by off-duty police officers.
Belfast Crown Court heard that while their victim was on the ground both Alexander and Marshall were seen to kick him in the head.
Alexander was also seen using the high heel of her boot to stamp on the man's head.
Alexander was told she will serve one year in custody with the remaining two years on supervised licence upon her release.
Marshall - who has previous convictions for violence - will spend 18 months in custody with the remaining half of his sentence served on licence.
Crown prosecutor Robin Steer said the injured party was attacked in the Fountain Lane area of Belfast after he had enjoyed a Christmas works do at nearby Bedford Street.
Mr Steer said the victim had been drinking and could remember leaving the party but couldn't really remember being in Fountain Lane and had "no further recollection until he was being treated in an ambulance".
Although there are differing versions of events about how and why Marshall and Alexander assaulted the other man, Mr Steer said it was clear from the evidence of off-duty police officers who saw the incident that the couple were both seen to kick and stamp his head as he lay on the ground.
Alexander, the court heard, was seen stamping on his head with her high heels and the man's blood was found on her boots.
When the off-duty police rushed over, Marshall was described as being "very aggressive" and was restrained in a head-lock until uniformed police arrived.
Following the attack, Alexander claimed she had loyalist paramilitary connections.
The injured man lost a significant amount of blood at the scene from a head wound. He was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital and treated for a 6cm cut to his head, and released the next day.
Mr Steer said the man had made a full recovery, and after what happened he had moderated his drinking and "is careful not to be on his own at night".
Both Marshall and Alexander were arrested and interviewed about the attack. Alexander claimed that as she and her boyfriend were walking along Fountain Lane, she felt her hair being pulled from behind. Marshall also made the case that his girlfriend was grabbed.
Mr Steer said that because of the presence of blood on her boots coupled with witness statements, Alexander "was likely to have caused the significant head injury, but the Crown cannot say that conclusively".
The court also heard that Marshall's role in the attack was considered to be lesser than that of Alexander.
Describing the level of violence as "gratuitous", the prosecutor said the attack occurred when the victim was lying on the ground offering no resistance.