Linda Magill, 57, was blinded in one eye after a vicious attack at a Pontins holiday park. 41 year old mother Joanne Benson was at the Southport holiday park with her ten year old daughter, when her daughter told her someone had launched a foul-mouthed tirade against her and called her 'a whore'. The girl mistakenly pointed out Magill as the perpetrator, and the two women quickly got into a disagreement about the abusive incident. Magill denied that she was involved in the attack, and claimed to have no knowledge of it, but Benson was adamant and as tempers frayed she threw a punch at the woman and caught her in the eye. Benson, of Hunts Cross, Liverpool, was eventually sentenced to 15 months in prison suspended for 18 months, at Liverpool Crown Court after admitting causing GBH without intent.
The court heard Mrs Magill had been on holiday with her daughter and two-year-old grandson on November 5, 2016, waiting outside a pub when the girl ran to her and told her about the abusive older woman. The confrontation had soon came to a head and 'finger jabbing' was exchanged when "A punch was thrown by the defendant with her right hand which connected with the left eye of Mrs Magill." The women fell into the road and continued to grapple as strangers ran over and attempted to separate the pair. Unfortunately, Magill suffers from an eye condition which has long caused her problems and had just undergone an effective surgery three months before the attack that had restored her eyesight fully.
Benson was duly sentenced to 15 months in prison suspended for 18 months and Magill has since been forced to undergo an operation to remove her entire eye. The punch left her eye misshapen and corrective surgery failed to remedy the problem, so she opted to remove it altogether. Rachel Oakdene, the defending lawyer, said that mum-of-three Benson has no previous convictions and that her character references showed she was ‘well thought of’. She told the court that the offensive comment made to Benson’s daughter was the only catalyst for the attack and her client was ‘deeply sorry’ for the ensuing fight that caused the loss of eyesight. Judge Andrew Menary, QC, told Benson that her behaviour had been ‘disgraceful’ and ordered her to carry out 150 hours unpaid work. She also had imposed on her a four-month curfew between 8pm and 6am.