Estate agent who glassed me was only spared jail because she is a woman: Victim says he is disgusted attacker walked free despite 17 previous convictions for assault
Ronnie Lee, 24, attacked with glass while on night out in Bournemouth
Yasmin Thomas, 21, given suspended sentence after admitting attack
Walked free from court despite having 17 previous convictions for assault
Mr Lee says Thomas was given a lenient sentence because she is female
With blood spattered over his injured face, this is Ronnie Lee on his way to hospital minutes after being glassed in an unprovoked attack by a woman.
Lucky not to lose an eye, the 24-year-old telesales company director needed four stitches following the assault.
But despite his injuries, his assailant, estate agent Yasmin Thomas, 21, walked free from court this week with a suspended sentence – despite notching up her 18th conviction for assault.
Yesterday Mr Lee said he was disgusted at the leniency of the sentence, which includes an anger management course.
He said: ‘If it was the other way around and I did that to her, I would be going straight to jail.
‘What happens next time if she does something and it’s life threatening? She could end up killing someone.
‘She’s got 18 convictions already. She’s a danger to herself and others around her.
‘If someone had the number of convictions she’s got I would think for at least one of them there would be a lesson learnt. I don’t think the justice system has provided a judgment that will set an example.’
Mr Lee was with his friend Richard Evans at the Bar So nightclub in Bournemouth in February when they were approached by Thomas and her friends.
‘Richard and I went out for a drink to celebrate setting up our new business together,’ Mr Lee said yesterday.
‘We had been at Bar So for about an hour. We stepped on the dance floor and the lady in question, Yasmin, was there.
‘I didn’t know her at all. One of her friends stole Richard’s e-cigarette and threw it on the floor.
‘Yasmin picked it up and tapped me on the shoulder and gave it to me. I was surprised and handed it back to Richard.
‘She then said ‘‘Aren’t you gonna say thank you then?’’ I was confused and didn’t say anything. She threw a drink on my face first and then smashed the glass on my left eye socket.’
Mr Lee suffered a deep cut close to the eye and other smaller cuts to his face.
He said: ‘It was only ten minutes from being on the dance floor to being in the ambulance. A nurse pulled glass out of my cheek and eye and I had four stitches in my eyelid.
'He told me that if it had been a couple of millimetres closer to my eye I would have been blinded.
‘Since then I’ve had some anxiety when I go out and I find myself trying to be careful. It’s put me on edge.’
Thomas, an estate agent at Palmer Snell in the Westbourne area of Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm when she appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court.
Judge John Harrow described her criminal history as ‘breathtaking’ but did not send her to jail, instead handing her a 12-month sentence suspended for two years and 80 hours of community service.
She was also told to pay Mr Lee £1,000 in compensation and a £100 victim surcharge.
Sentencing her, Judge Harrow said: ‘You have a breathtaking record of violence, one of the worst I have ever seen from anyone your age.
'It is not without a lot of hesitation and some reservations, I must confess, that I’m going to suspend that 12-month sentence for two years.
‘Any offence at all will be sent back to this court and you will go straight down those steps to prison for at least 12 months.’
Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, criticised the sentence and said he would be discussing it with the Attorney General to review it.