Two mothers were scarred for life after glazing each other during a “terrible” bar fight.
Claire Byrne, 35, and Paula Breen, 40, from Liverpool were both hospitalized as a result of the vicious fight at The Clock in Kirkdale. The couple appeared at Liverpool Crown Court with visible facial scars as a reminder of the drunken violence. reports the Liverpool Echo.
And a judge said their use of glasses and bottles as weapons was so “incredibly serious” that they both deserved to go to jail.
Judge Gary Woodhall said, “Other customers say they are shocked by the violence you both committed and feared for their safety.
“The CCTV footage speaks for itself. Anyone who sees this CCTV footage would be appalled at the violence you two have committed.”
At the beginning of the clip, Breen is sitting with friends at a table in the pub on Walton Road. On January 10, 2020 it will be around 10:30 p.m.
Byrne is shown taking a stool off this table and then sitting down at another table with another group and telling Breen to get up.
Breen is seen screaming something and then going to Byrne, who just seconds later picks up a bottle of wine and repeatedly hits her in the head while all hell breaks loose.
Christopher Hopkins, who is prosecuting him, said other people intervened to hold Byrne back before Breen fell to the ground, with “bumps” on his head as a result of the initial unprovoked attack.
The video shows the mother of one getting back on her feet and taking a glass from a shelf, which she then throws at Byrne, who is standing in a crowd in what Breen calls “retaliation”.
The glass flies through the air and hits three-headed Mother Byrne in the center of her forehead as it shatters, causing a “two to three inch cut”.
More people stepped in and Breen was persuaded to leave the bar.
A second CCTV clip showed them outside before Byrne appeared and picked up a glass from the sidewalk.
Mr. Hopkins said Byrne went after and attacked Breen with that glass from the camera.
The court heard it was controversial as to whether Byrne broke the glass before poking it in Breen’s face – according to Breen’s report – but Judge Woodhall said he would convict Byrne on the basis that the glass was smashed on impact.
Dazed and confused, Breen went back inside, slipped, and fell to the floor.
The clip provided to ECHO continues when she re-enters the pub and falls over before Byrne shows up with another bottle of wine.
She is then shown attacking Breen with it while she lies defenseless on the floor.
Breen, who had a wound on the side of her chin and cut her arm, said “I reciprocated” to the officers when she was arrested.
Mr Hopkins said both women were filmed in police interviews and pleaded guilty.
Byrne, from St. Alexander Close, Kirkdale, was convicted of threatening behavior in 2006 and warned of joint attacks in January 2012.
Peter White, who defended Byrne, accepted that it was an “exceptionally serious crime” and added, “The video surveillance is doing her a disservice.”
He said Byrne claimed she wasn’t drunk but was on medication for mental health problems and knew she shouldn’t have been drinking.
Mr. White said, “She had recently been through the breakdown of her marriage of 16 years at the time of this crime.”
The lawyer said his client accepted “using alcohol as a crutch” but “hasn’t touched a drop” in the 12 months since.
Mr White said Byrne looked after a 16-year-old son with “difficulties” and another child aged seven with less severe difficulties.
He said Byrne has another child, age 11, who lives with her ex who she sees regularly and who lived across from her mother in her sixties, who has emphysema and relies on her for everyday needs.
Mr. White asked the judge to consider her caring duties, stating, “She is deeply ashamed of her behavior that night.”
Rebecca Smith, who defended Breen from Craine Close, Anfield, and had no previous convictions, said there was a distinction to be made between her client and Byrne.
She said, “Whatever was exchanged between Miss Breen and Miss Byrne, it was initially an unprovoked attack.”
Ms. Smith said Breen was “dazed” when she fell and after throwing a glass in “retaliation” she tried to get out of the situation.
She admitted that the behavior of both women was “unsavory and, to a certain extent, despicable”.
Ms. Smith added that Breen suffered from PTSD after witnessing the death of her husband in 2018, which also affected her 22-year-old son.
Judge Woodhall said when Breen first approached Byrne it seemed “for no apparent reason” that Byrne’s “almost instant reaction” was to attack her with the bottle. He said Breen caused a “significant injury” by throwing a glass at Byrne, who in turn “did not give up” and chased her outside.
The judge said Byrne “initiated the violence” in a “sustained and unprovoked attack” and that her violence was greater than that of Breen.
Judge Woodhall also noted that she had a record of violence and the “ease and speed” with which she had accessed it.
However, he said while Byrne carried out three attacks, Breen’s throwing the glass into a crowd was the most serious of all violence.
Judge Woodhall said, “It was more by accident than intent that no one was harmed. It could so easily have resulted in someone being blinded by a shard of glass that broke in the face of your co-defendant.”
The judge accepted that Breen played a less serious role than Byrne, who was a former good character, was repentant, had worked in a nursing home, and was a victim of recent domestic violence.
He noted that Byrne had become “disinhibited” by alcohol and was the sole carer of two children who would be seriously affected if imprisoned.
However, he said that although both had “strong” mitigation, the use of gun violence was “incredibly serious”.
Judge Woodhall imprisoned Breen for 10 months, who burst into tears, and Byrne for 12 months, who showed no emotion.
Byrne then took Breen’s arm and comforted her and said, “Are you all right, girl?”