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Hotel manager who glassed her friend in nightclub attack to pay €8,000 in compensation

The victim said her life had been changed forever after she was set upon for no apparent reason

Megan Keown when she left Donegal Circuit Court. (NW Newsxpix)

Stephen Maguire 

A hotel manager who left her friend scarred after a nightclub glassing attack will be sentenced in December after agreeing to pay her victim €8,000 in compensation.

Megan Keown attacked her friend Aisling Newell with a glass at Paris Nightclub in Bundoran, Co Donegal after the pair had been on a night out on July 19th, 2019.

The women had been socialising all evening but Ms Newell said her life changed forever when Ms Kewon set upon her for no apparent reason.

Ms Newell told Donegal Circuit Court that she heard glass smashing, fell to the ground and hit her head and was then rushed to Sligo University Hospital for treatment.

She received ten stitches to various parts of her face as well as pain-killing injections and was told by surgeons how she would need plastic surgery.

Megan Keown's victim Aisling Newell leaving Donegal Circuit Court. (NW Newsxpix)

Fragments of glass had also to be removed from her face during the hospital treatment.

In an emotional victim impact statement, the mother-of-three told how her life had not been the same since the attack.

She said everything happened so quickly and that she had no idea that this incident would change her life forever.

Ms Newell said she was distraught and now has to apply make-up each morning to cover her scars saying looking at her face haunts her all the time.

She added that her confidence has been destroyed because her face will never be the same again.

"I will never be the same person I was," she added.

At the conclusion of her victim impact statement, Judge John Aylmer asked Ms Newell to come closer so he could get a closer look at her injuries.

Barrister for Ms Keown, Mr Declan McHugh, said his client had no previous convictions and had not come to the attention of the Gardai since this incident saying it was a tragic, once-off incident.

He said Ms Keown accepted there was an argument and that she wishes she could take back what happened on the night and simply has no explanation for what happened.

He said she did send Ms Newell a text the following day and also offered a letter of apology through a third party but this was not accepted.

Ms Keown, who is duty manager at the Creevy Pier Hotel, had brought the sum of €4,000 which she had gathered as an offer of compensation to Ms Newell.

Mr McHugh added that the Probation Report is comprehensive and generally positive and that Ms Keown is a suitable candidate for community service.

He added that there was also the possibility of more compensation from his client.

Judge John Aylmer said he placed the incident in the mid-range of such offences and one which would merit a sentence before mitigation of three years.

He noted that Ms Newell had suffered scarring on her face and understandably had a very negative impact on her life.

However, he noted that Ms Keown was a hardworking person who came to the court with no previous convictions and who had not come to the attention of Gardai since the incident.

He added the behaviour of Ms Keown was completely out of character on the night and the only explanation was the excessive consumption of alcohol on the night.

Because of these factors he intended to reduce the sentence to one of two years.

However, he noted that Ms Keown had given Ms Newell €4,000 in compensation.

He said that in the circumstances he planned to adjourn the case until December to allow Ms Keown to raise the sum of another €4,000 which should then be given to Ms Newell.

If that is done he said he proposed to suspend the two year prison sentence for a period of 12 months meaning Ms Keown will not go to prison.

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