Woman who smashed Miss England model in face with wine glass spared jail

A woman convicted of smashing a wine glass into a Miss England finalist's face after a row at a bar has been spared jail.

Professional golfer and pageant hopeful Olivia Cooke needed stitches for facial injuries after China Gold, 28, attacked her.

Gold, of London Road, Ditton, Kent, denied unlawful wounding over the October 2018 incident but was convicted by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court in March.

Today she was handed an 18-month sentence suspended for two years. She was also ordered to pay £7,000 in compensation.

Ms Cooke was rushed to hospital after the attack, requiring five stitches to fix the cuts to her face – one of which was 5cm long.

The incident took place at The Farm House pub in West Malling, Kent, after Ms Cooke became upset with "crude" comments being made about her by Gold, the trial heard.

Gold later struck Ms Cooke twice with her wine glass, "one to break the glass and the second one to cause injury".

The accused accepted causing the injuries to Ms Cooke's face but failed to convince the jury that she was acting in self-defence.

During sentencing, the court heard the incident had had a significant impact on Ms Cooke.

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In a statement made two days after she was injured, Ms Cooke said: "I feel very angry and upset and I know I will have a scar on my face from this.

"I was confused as to why China would do this and disfigure me. I was crying in the hospital."

The court heard the incident had caused Ms Cooke long-term upset, including depression and anxiety, and that it may cost around £5,000 to help cover her scar with surgery.

Ms Cooke's statement also said she had faced additional stress by anonymous calls made to her work and to the Miss England competition about the incident.

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"I think this also affected my chances in the competition and my future ambitions of a modelling career," Ms Cooke added.

In mitigation, Robin Griffiths said Gold had expressed remorse and had saved £7,000 since the incident, ready to pay compensation, as well as suffering from mental health issues of her own.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Statman said: "At the end of this incident your victim sustained an ugly injury to her face which will leave her scarred.

"She suffered then and continues to suffer the effects of your violence.

"I am satisfied in my own mind that you do feel genuine remorse for what you have done.

"I am completely sure in my own mind that you are someone who is fragile, but on this particular evening the red mist descended upon you and you behaved in a way that was wholly unlawful.

"There is a significant, realistic prospect in any case that if I do not send you to prison today you will be rehabilitated."

He also said the impact of Covid-19 on those facing or in prison was a factor to consider in sentencing.

In addition to paying compensation within 14 days, Gold will also be required to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. She will also be subject to a restraining order for five years.

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