A young woman who has been left scarred after a glass was smashed in her face at a Colchester pub has praised our investigating officer after her attacker was jailed for six years.
Lucy Nobile, 20, was enjoying drinks with friends at the Hole in the Wall in Colchester when James Booth attacked her from behind with a pint glass.
Lucy, who is partially sighted, suffered deep cuts to her cheek, neck and lips and lost more than four pints of blood. She received 350 stitches.
She described Detective Constable Rob McWilliams as “absolutely brilliant” for his work on the case and the support he’d given her family during the investigation.
On the night of the attack, Lucy had been out for a meal with a friend before heading for a drink.
She first encountered Booth when she stepped in to stop him hassling a woman outside the pub. Booth became hostile and made an inappropriate gesture towards her. Lucy headed inside to tell a friend what had happened but Booth followed her inside and made another gesture towards her. This led to an altercation.
Booth then stood watching Lucy before smashing an upturned pint glass into the side of her face as she stood talking to a bartender.
Lucy said: “I had my back towards him and didn’t even see it coming. At first, I didn’t realise what had happened. I went to put my hand to my face but I couldn’t because I had glass hanging out of it.
“Then next thing I remember is waking up on the floor after passing out because of blood loss.
“The whole thing was traumatic. My friend Kai was standing next to me when it happened. He kept hold of me and was holding onto my neck so I didn’t bleed out. Other people in the pub ran out and got hold of him (Booth) until the police got there.”
Lucy was taken to hospital but Covid regulations meant that her dad, who’d arrived at the pub, couldn’t stay with her.
“I was in so much distress. Being in that room alone was horrible. I had a laceration to my cheek that was 10 centimetres by five centimetres. It was a flap of skin that was peeling off.
“I had glass in my mouth, in my tongue, my lip had to get stitched back together because a shard of glass had separated my lip. I then had a deep cut along my neck from the impact, and I had a broken jaw. I had burst blood vessels in my right eye, and a lot of little cuts across my face. “The glass only missed my jugular by five millimetres.”
Lucy said the attack left her struggling physically and mentally but Booth’s sentencing has helped bring some closure.
“The first couple of weeks were the hardest because my face was so bruised. It hurt to eat, it hurt to drink. Part of me just wanted to shut down and recover. I wanted to close the door and say ‘Bye world’ but I couldn’t.
“I’m left with these scars for the rest of my life. I need to embrace it because I can’t hide them. They’re a part of me. It’s been really hard but I’m glad to say I’m coming out of the other side of it now.”
Lucy, who is hoping to follow her mum into the Probation Service and work rehabilitating prisoners, said she felt “relief” when Booth was sentenced.
“We’re hoping he learns from this and doesn’t hold any hatred against women,” she added.
Lucy also thanked DC Rob McWilliams for his work in the case.
“Rob was absolutely brilliant. He went above and beyond, he really made sure that he had time for us. Rob’s really good at his job!”
DC McWilliams said that Booth’s six-year sentence sends out a strong message to anyone committing violence against women.
“It was a suitable punishment. In a matter of thirty seconds, Lucy’s life had changed forever. He may spend the next six years in prison, but she’s scarred for life. It was a stupid reaction and a terrible decision.
“Lucy was the most engaging and positive victim I’ve had in any case. She really helped the court understand the impact the attack had on her and that helped the court make the right decision.
“We take violence against women very seriously. If you attack a woman, this will be the outcome.”