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Prison for woman who grinned while glassing barman

By George Jackson

Published 23/04/2016

A woman who smiled just seconds before glassing a barman twice in the face last year has been sentenced to six months in prison
A woman who smiled just seconds before glassing a barman twice in the face last year has been sentenced to six months in prison

A woman who smiled just seconds before glassing a barman twice in the face last year has been sentenced to six months in prison.

District Judge Barney McElholm said the actions of Denise Quigley, from Dove Gardens in the Bogside area of Londonderry, were both disgraceful and dangerous.

Mr McElholm added that it was fortunate the barman did not lose an eye.

A Public Prosecution Service solicitor told the court that Quigley had been drinking in the Dungloe Bar in Derry city centre with her son on March 10 of last year.

The judge heard that because of her loud and aggressive behaviour she was asked by a member of staff to calm down, but she refused and continued with her loud behaviour.

Both Quigley and her son, who had been drinking in the pub for several hours, were then refused service and were escorted from the premises by staff.

"The defendant attempted to attack the bar staff member taking them out," the prosecution said. "Both she and her son were put onto Waterloo Street, where she punched the staff member several times.

"A short time later the defendant came back into the bar, walked calmly towards the counter, picked up a pint glass and smashed it against the right side of the barman's face.

"She picked up a second glass and again hit the man on the face. She was then restrained by staff who removed her from the premises and called police."

When police arrived Quigley had to be handcuffed because of her behaviour, and she headbutted one of the officers, shouting at her "UVF scum".

Defence barrister Nicola Rountree said Quigley suffered from long-term mental health issues as a result of which she experienced fluctuations in her behaviour.

"Sometimes she would lose touch with reality," the barrister said. "She was shocked when she saw the CCTV evidence of her behaviour. She is extremely scared of the person she turned into on this night," she added.

The District Judge said that despite Quigley's guilty pleas she deserved to go to jail.

"What is chilling about this case is the way she walked calmly back into the bar and witnesses say she had a smile on her face," he said. "She appeared to have calmed down, but instead she calmly lifted a glass and stuck it into the face of another human being.

"She then lifted another glass and again assaulted the same man. It was a completely premeditated attack with a weapon. Despite certain mental health issues she may have there is nothing in her diagnosis which would account for this behaviour."

Quigley was released on appeal bail of £500. As part of her bail conditions she is banned from the Dungloe Bar and from consuming alcohol and non-prescribed drugs.

Belfast Telegraph

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