A woman nearly blinded when she was hit with a STILETTO is fuming after the assailant was spared jail – and has released horrific pictures of her injuries.
Brave Shaida Churchley, 20, has slammed the eight-month suspended sentence awarded to thug Sophie Morgan as “disgusting” and said she would be appealing it.
The youngster of Exeter, Devon, was on a night out with her former partner but was not drinking when a melee broke out at a kebab shop.
Morgan appeared, drunk and disorderly, asking to borrow a phone to call a taxi and after a fight broke out she attacked another victim.
But as Shaida tried to walk away from the scene she was grabbed on the shoulder and hit with the heel.
She didn’t see the damage caused to her face and eye until she looked in mirror later at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital – but says she was almost blinded by the attack.
Morgan, 22, appeared before Exeter Crown Court this week charged with affray but was let off after changing her plea to guilty at the last opportunity.
But speaking after the case Shaida said she felt let down by the justice system and robbed of her chance to tell the court the impact the vile assault has had on her life.
She said: “We decided to walk away, but as we were I heard abuse being shouted at me and I was grabbed on the shoulder before I was hit with the heel.
“It all happened so quickly, I just remember bleeding profusely.”
Shaida, who was just 18 at the time, was left depressed and too afraid to leave the house following the assault which saw her temporarily lose her peripheral vision.
Today she is forced to wear make-up every day to cover up the scar left by the defendant.
She added: “I had faith in the justice system that it would be taken with the severity as though the incident had just happened but I feel like I’ve been lied to.
“I still don’t feel comfortable walking around the city with my partner,” she said.
Bar worker Morgan, of Burnthouse Lane, Exeter, told the court she suffered remorse for her actions, but the day after the trial on Tuesday she was seen joking about the case on Facebook with one mate calling her a “legend”.
Shaida had been studying at the time of the attack at the Michael Caines Academy.
Now scarred for life, Shaida said she has used Bio Oil and other products to reduce the size of the mark, but no longer feels comfortable leaving the house without wearing make-up.
Shortly after the incident, Shaida’s confidence plummeted and she initially struggled to complete her studies.
“I was at college at the time, but I couldn’t do some of the work due to how I looked, I couldn’t been seen like that, I was an absolute mess,” she said.
“I couldn’t go out, I became a bit of a recluse. All of a sudden I went into this introverted state and I didn’t feel like I could go out and be safe, I felt like a victim.”
Mum Lisa said a homophobic element to the attack was also incredibly painful.
She said: “It took her so long to come out and as a family we supported her, so it was soul destroying for something like this to happen,” she said.
“As a family we are so proud of her, she has fought back and has become a business owner but after the news I saw her crumble again and that made me very angry. Whoever the judge was, he was wrong.
“When we found out the results of the court case, she was back to that little 18-year-old girl who was attacked and was scared,” she added.
Lisa said they would be appealing the sentence issued by Judge Graham Cottle at Exeter Crown Court.
“The attacker needs to be taught this is not acceptable behaviour,” she said.
Shaida is now trying to rebuild her life and is running The Little Orange Café at City Arcade in Exeter.
She added: “When I started to look and feel better, I thought I had to work through this. I was not going to let this ruin my life.”