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Woman glassed in the eye after pub row about her ‘distinctive accent’

Project manager Marie-Christine Fleurie told her victim she was a police officer (Picture: BPM Media)

A wine drinker glassed a woman in the face after her ‘distinctive accent’ led to a violent bar row that ended in fears the victim would lose an eye.

The argument exploded after Marie-Christine Fleurie flicked a cigarette at the victim and her daughter outside the Marston Green Tavern, Solihull.

After the ‘fracas’ moved inside the pub, Fleurie, a project manager, declared: ‘Watch it girl, I’m a police officer,’ with CCTV capturing the 34-year-old raising her hand and red wine flying through the air.

The victim suffered a number of facial injuries including one which penetrated her eyeball, prompting fears it may have to be replaced with an artificial one. Fleurie, of Rochester, Kent, was set to go on trial at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday, September 5.

But when she admitted unlawful wounding on the basis she acted in self-defence she was handed a 16-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay the victim £4,000 in compensation. Fleurie is said to now be worrying about keeping her project manager job. The attack happened around 10pm on February 21, 2020 when the victim, who had been eating with her family, went outside for a cigarette.

Prosecutor Stefan Kolodynski said Fleurie appeared to be ‘worse for wear’ and started speaking to her. He added: ‘Due to Ms Fleurie’s distinctive accent she found it difficult to hear. In a passing comment to her boyfriend she asked what the defendant was saying. Her impression was Ms Fleurie was already agitated. ‘A verbal altercation quickly escalated and Ms Fleurie became confrontational and aggressive. At the time she had a cigarette in one hand and a wine glass in the other.

‘She said: “Watch it girl I’m a police officer’.

‘The complainant responded that she didn’t care if she was a police officer or not, there was no need to behave in the way she did.

‘Angered, Ms Fleurie flicked a cigarette butt to her and her daughter hitting her daughter in the chest. ‘It prompted the complainant to say, “What are you doing?” It escalated into an argument and both began shouting.’

The Marston Green Tavern in Solihull where the ‘fracas’ erupted (Picture: BPM Media)

The prosecutor added CCTV captured the ‘flash of red wine going through the air’ after Fleurie moved the glass from one hand to another.

The victim required multiple surgical procedures to her face, suffered irritation to her right eye months after the incident and had to wear a mask over the eyeball.

She also has scars from the incident and now feels uncomfortable in crowded places, the court was told.

John Fitzgerald, defending, argued Fleurie did not intentionally flick the cigarette at the victim and her daughter.

She stressed she committed her crime whilst acting in ‘significant self-defence’ against being attacked herself. Mr Fitzgerald added university graduate Fleurie had worked her way up from architect to project manager at her company and hoped to complete a masters degree in renewable energy.

He said: ‘But for this she is a hard-working lady. She looks back on that day with huge regret. ‘She looks at the photographs and is horrified. She didn’t want to do that to her.’

The barrister also told the court Fleurie had intended to move to Birmingham but had now abandoned the idea and had quit drinking and going out.

She was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 court costs as well as the £4,000 in compensation to her victim. Judge Heidi Kubik QC told Fleurie: ‘I have seen the CCTV of the build-up to that evening. It does not present you in a good light. ‘You could have walked away however I accept that I’m to sentence you on the agreed basis of plea that in the moments before the incident with which we are primary concerned, the complainant can be seen coming towards you with speed and you perceived the need to defend yourself.

‘But you used excessive force in order to do so and you are responsible in law for unlawfully causing that significant injury.’



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