Suspended sentence for student who struck man in eye with Christian Louboutin...

Suspended sentence for student who struck man in eye with Christian Louboutin heel

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Image from Instagram/Instme.

On 20 January 2016, The Mail covered the story of Shady Omar, a 22-year-old student. She pleaded guilty to section 20 unlawful wounding and received a suspended sentence.

What happened?

The Mail reports that after a night out, one of Omar’s friends became involved in a confrontation with a group of “tall young men…aware of their level of intoxication”. It appears that the confrontation was regarding a taxi. The victim, 22-year-old Justin Lloyd – a member of the group of men – approached Omar’s friend and offered her a crisp from a packet he was holding. The friend knocked (or attempted to knock) the bag out of his hand, at which point he attempted to pour the contents of the packet over her. Mr Lloyd maintained that he was ‘joking’. At this point, Omar – who it appears had already removed her shoes – struck Lloyd with the heel of one of the shoes. The heel became lodged in his eye and Lloyd had to remove it.

He suffered “bruising, cuts and bleeding to the lower lid, cuts to the upper lid and a fracture to the eye orbit” and at the sentencing hearing described his vision as “still not 100%”. He also stated that Omar, immediately after the incident, showed no remorse, despite him being covered in blood and unable to see from his left eye. He told how he was fearful that he would lose his sight and that the incident has damaged his confidence and his desire to socialise with friends. He has been left with some scarring.

Omar pleaded guilty. It is not clear whether or not she pleaded on a basis of plea, however it was said by her barrister that:

a) she had taken off her shoes because they were hurting her feet, not because she intended to use them as a weapon;

b) she brandished the shoe in an attempt to stop Lloyd from harassing her friend, and had no intention to use the shoe as a weapon;

c) she acted in self defence but accepted that she used excessive force.

Sentence

HHJ Kushner QC imposed a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for a period of 2 years, with unpaid work and supervision requirements. There would also be the mandatory £100 victim surcharge.

Comment

Once again we see the imposition of a suspended sentence with no reference (in the press at least) to the justification for taking such a course. The two-step process is first, to determine the length of sentence, and second, where that length is two years or less, determine whether or not it is appropriate to suspend the sentence.

There is no guidance on when a suspended sentence is appropriate (rather bizarrely) however the Sentencing Council issued draft guidance for consultation last week. It is worth a look (it’s only a short document) and we would encourage readers to respond as this is very important guideline.

As to the length of sentence, the assault guidelines apply (see p.7). The injury sustained falls close to being considered to be “serious in the context of the offence”, (an indicator of greater harm) however as Lloyd was fortunately not blinded, a fracture to the eye socket and some cuts and bruising is probably not serious enough to be in the top category of the type of injury seen in s.20 offences – although we acknowledge that the issue is not clear cut.  The use of a weapon suggests higher culpability, but “excessive self defence” and “lack of premeditation” suggest lower culpability; and so it can be seen that yet another case doesn’t fit neatly within the guideline categories. When faced with facts that dont fit neatly into any one category, the court has to make a decision as to which category the offence best falls into. In this case, we would say this offences falls on the border between Category 1 and Category 2: this was a serious assault involving a weapon, but there were features that reduced the culpability; additionally the injuries were serious but not the most serious example of this type of offence.

Category 2 has a starting point of 18 months with a range of 1-3 years. Aggravation comes in the form of the fact the offence was committed after consuming alcohol; mitigation comes in the form of the fact it was a single blow/single incident and presumed lack of convictions. With reduction for a guilty plea, an 18-month sentence indicates a 27-month starting point, a little above the Category 2 guideline starting point but within the range.

That seems to be fair for what was, on any view, a nasty incident.

Finally, the Mail began the story with the usual “walked free from court” line that they include for anyone who doesn’t get sent to immediate custody, which as regular readers will know is incorrect.

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Lyndon is the General Editor of Current Sentencing Practice and the Criminal Appeal Reports (Sentencing)

18 COMMENTS

  1. It is completely right to say that she did walk free. Only within such left wing minds is leaving court without a custodial sentence, and no doubt some pathetic community order is that considered just punishment. She was given a sentence, and she walked from that court, with restrictions so minimal that it is entirely correct to say that she walked free.

    • She’s required to comply with requirements of the suspended sentence, and if she breaches them or commits another offence, the term is likely to be activated and she’ll go to custody. In what way is that “free”? People walk “free from court” when they are acquitted and that is the end of the matter. Ms Omar has a suspended sentence hanging over her and unpaid work to do.

  2. …and Mr Lloyd will think twice about street harassment in the future. A lesson well learnt. Well worth a suspended sentence.

    • I knew your views were idiotic, there’s plenty of evidence in your posts all over this nlog. Now we’ve reached the new low of condoning unjustified violence! Tell you what, next time someone beeps the horn in traffic, get off the car grab a baseball bat and smash their car to bits. That will teach them a lesson in road impatience!!

      • Well okay noted. I was trying to find two figs (I don’t don’t mean figs I mean the other eff word) to give about your opinion.

  3. A question that may be answered elsewhere on your site so I apologise: if someone is under a suspended sentence, are they under the supervision of probation service in the same way as they would be if released on licence?

  4. Questions really.
    Does Shady Omar continue her degree course?
    Is she banned from all educational institutions and grants and government funding?
    Will the fact she has a criminal record follow her when she applies for a job?

    • Only because he unexpectedly came off worse in their confrontation. It’s a man bites dog story it’s novel because the woman fought back and won. I have no sympathy for him whatsoever.

      • Neither have I. But she took the chance that he would come off worse, and lost, and must accept the consequences. Just as if she had indeed blinded him she would have gone down immediately.

        I wish her well and hope that she gets through this, does her unpaid work, gets through her supervision, and has no career plans which require DBS so that at 24 she can put all this behind her.

        And you know what? I hope he keeps his sight (my father was blind so I carry some baggage here) and that he has learnt some sense.

      • Yet I assume you (L-E-S) would have sympathy for a woman who was engaged in horseplay with the man who got injured?

        • Eloise “if men behaved like women, the courts would be idle and the prisons empty”. In 2009-10, men were perpetrators in 91% of all violent incidents in England and Wales, 81% for domestic violence, 86% for assault, 94% for wounding, 96% for mugging, 98% for robbery. MoJ figures for 2009 show men to be responsible for 98%, 92% and 89% of sexual offences, drug offences and criminal damage respectively. Of child sex offenders, 99% are male. [source: Guardian Newspaper]

          To answer your question. Given the above I have little or no sympathy with men about anything. And on the whole men are more likely to be assaulted by another man than they are by a woman. Horseplay is one thing behaving aggressively such as trying to tip a bag of crisps over a complete stranger is not horseplay. I can only criticise the offender in the case above for bothering to extract the shoe from where it lodged.

          • As I thought. Two groups of people who were equally idiotic in their behaviour and you take the side of the women. As it was reported the aggessive behaviour started with a female who “attempted to knock the packet of crisps out of the victims hand”.

            Equality is not what you are looking for is it? You want men kicked to the pavement and stamped over.

            The victim in this case did not commit assult, did not wound anyone, did not mug anyone and was not responsible for a robbery. He was not (so far as we know) under the influence of illegal drugs, nor creating criminal damage nor sexually assaulting anyone. He was acting in a manner which was perhaps idiotic, yet he was wounded by a woman viciously who did not show remorse afterwards.

  5. Was the victims behaviour any more than drunken horse play? While such behaviour is not to my taste, we see such behaviour weekly in our city centres and as much from females as males (IMO).

    The response of hitting out is completely inappropriate and as a result there was a serious injury caused which could have been much worse.

    Now I don’t think that Ms Omah’s life should be ruined over this; hopefully this should teach her (and others) that actions have consequences. Sounds like a sensible decision by the judge (infact I would support more sentences being suspended as hopefully a last warning to the perpetrator).

    • L-E-S … its difficult to tell with that video (assuming the video is the “evidence” you are presenting in defence) … but is that not showing the aftermath of the incident (after the man has been stuck by the heel of a shoe) not the lead up? About the first words you can hear is a male saying “…stuck in the eye” and “you just attacked my mate”.

      If so you can’t tell anything about the man’s actions leading up to the attack and weather the attack was defensible.

      • I was relying on the judge’s reported words:

        “I accept it was a moment of spontaneity – a spontaneous reaction. It was in a situation of hassling and ostentatious behaviour, as far as your friend was concerned persistent irritation.”

        …which suggests the injured party and his mates were indulging in that favourite male pasttime of street harassment of women which is where I came at this in the first place.

        Also learnt that the Daily Mirror has a different interpretation of viscous to myself and probably meant vicious.

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