An aspiring model left scarred after she was glassed by another woman during a night out condemned a court yesterday for letting her attacker go free.
Marta Bugalska, 24, was left with a three-inch cut to her head after Ashley Katsande, 23, hit her with a pint glass when she wrongly accused of her of kissing her boyfriend in a nightclub.
While Ms Bugalska was being treated by doctors, Katsande sent a Facebook message to the victim’s then boyfriend saying: “Just to let you know, your girlfriend was kissing my boyfriend tonight!!!!”
Ms Bugalska - who works for a currency exchange in Central London - had her wounds stapled shut during six hours of hospital treatment.
She also suffered injuries to her eye socket, cheek and lip.
Receptionist Katsande, from Edinburgh, who admitted assault, had two previous convictions for violence and claimed she had “taken umbrage” at the victim.
She was placed under 12 months supervision at Edinburgh Sheriff Court and ordered to pay her victim £800 compensation.
After the case Ms Bugalska said: “I was devastated by the outcome, especially considering the severity of the attack. If she’d swung the glass an inch to the left, she could have taken my eye out or even killed me.
“If the glass had broken, the shards could have done catastrophic damage.
“I was furious she wasn’t jailed. I feel the leniency of the courts just gives other violent people the idea that if they want to hurt somebody, they can because they will never be punished for it.”
The assault occurred on September 16 last year after Ms Bugalska had been for a job interview and went outto the Opal Lounge club.
She was speaking to her friend when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
“As I turned, I saw a large glass tumbler coming straight for me and before I had chance to duck out of the way, I was on the floor.
“I felt two more sickening blows as I tried desperately to get up, but my vision had blurred, there was blood running down my face and my ears were ringing, and I wasn’t entirely sure where I was or what was happening. I couldn’t see who was attacking me, and she wasn’t speaking, but it was perfectly clear she had a big problem with me.
“When my friends told me what had happened, I couldn’t believe it. Ashley had seen her partner kissing another woman and had assumed it was me, but of course it was not. I knew her partner vaguely, and we’d say hello if ever we passed, but there was no chance we’d ever kiss. I couldn’t understand why she would accuse me of something so awful, especially without asking me first.
“At the time of the attack I had a boyfriend myself, which made the accusation even more shocking.”
“I was lucky that the glass she used to attack me didn’t smash. If it had, the shards could have done so much more damage. It was hard to think straight about what she had done to me, because I knew deep down how much worse off I could have been.”