Belfast Telegraph

Hammer thug who blinded woman in eye guilty of assault

By Ashleigh McDonald

A woman was remanded in custody yesterday after she was found guilty of leaving another woman blind in one eye in a hammer attack.

Samantha Goldring was convicted at Belfast Crown Court of causing the other woman grievous bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon with intent.

Goldring (37), from Tynan Drive in Newtownabbey, asked to go into custody.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC said that was a "sensible decision".

A jury heard evidence from both the victim - who lost the sight in her left eye in the attack - and from Goldring.

The injured woman, who is from north Belfast and in her 20s, told the court she went to Goldring's then home at Enfield Street after being told her boyfriend was there. She said she first went there at around 5pm on Saturday, April 8 last year and was told by Golding that her partner wasn't there.

After seeing him in the street at 10pm, the woman followed him to Goldring's house.

She said: "I went round and rang the door and whatever, and there was no answer. Then I just had a moment of madness. There was a magnet in my pocket. I threw it and put the wee girl's windows in.

"She came flying out like a psycho. I didn't realise she had a hammer in her hand at the time. It was quite a small hammer and I felt a couple of blows to the head, but I didn't go down."

Goldring admitted striking the other woman with a hammer, but when she was called to give evidence she claimed she initially wasn't aware she had it in her hand, then only used it in self-defence.

Claiming she didn't know the woman who called at her home was the girlfriend of the man she was drinking and taking cocaine with, Goldring denied she and the man were romantically involved, saying they were just friends.

Goldring, originally from Essex, told the jury she only used the hammer to stop a "frenzied attack" on her. She said confronting the woman was "the worst decision I ever made".

Saying she had a hammer as she was doing DIY, Goldring said when she opened her door to see what had happened to her window, the other woman came at her "like a Tazmanian Devil" and attacked her first. The jury deliberated returned majority 'guilty' verdicts on both charges.

Belfast Telegraph

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