A young woman who suffered horrific injuries leaving her scarred for life when a man threw a bottle through her car window, expressed shock and disappointment as he walked free from court.
Chloe Knapton, 21, was hoping to pursue a career as a professional dancer, when she suffered deep cuts to her face, neck and shoulder in the attack on April 16 in New Road, Holmfirth.
A doctor said two pieces of glass which became embedded in her throat were only millimetres away from being life threatening. She also had to have plastic surgery to a deep cut in her shoulder and dental treatment after a tooth was knocked out.
But after he was given a 12- month prison sentenced suspended for 12 months with a 30 day activity requirement and 200 hours unpaid work she said outside the court: “I don’t feel I have had justice at all.
“I have got to live with this for the rest of my life.”
Nigel Wray prosecuting told the court Miss Knapton and a friend Sophie Leroy had been out together for a drink and were separately driving in Holmfirth when they stopped their cars.
Shires, who had been drinking, had left his bicycle near a bus shelter in Netherthong and Miss Leroy got out of her vehicle and went over to the bike.
Shires then came running across towards her waving a glass bottle and saying “Leave my bike alone” adding “What the f**k are you doing, get off.”
Mr Wray said Miss Leroy put her arms out and told him to stop saying she was sorry and that she had not known whose bike it was.
He then went towards Miss Knapton who was sitting in her own car and threw the bottle threw the side window smashing it. She drove to a friend’s house and when the police arrived she could not talk, there were six pieces of glass in her face and neck and she had deep cuts on her lip and nose.
She needed surgery at Leeds General Infirmary to remove the glass and was left with permanent scarring.
Shires had bought three bottles of tequila, giving one to a friend, but told police later the bottle he threw he had picked up from a bin.
He said he had seen the two cars drive by his bike earlier and when they appeared again and a woman got out and “made a beeline” for it he thought it was going to be stolen.
He remembered shouting something like “Don’t think about stealing my bike” and picked up the bottle to scare them off.
Anastasis Tassou told the court Shires was not a violent man and had never been in any trouble for 14 years. He had accepted responsibility for his actions that night causing Miss Knapton’s injuries for which he was “extremely remorseful.”
“It has been a tragic sequence of events.” He said Shires had come to court with his bags expecting punishment to reflect what he had done and the public might expect immediate custody.
“It is always more emotive when somebody who has suffered this type of injury is a young attractive lady.”
Sentencing Shires, then of Rattle Row, Holmfirth, Recorder Peter Babb said when the vehicles parked up Miss Leroy had got out with the “intention of messing about with your pedal cycle.”
“You saw what was happening and went towards her swinging a bottle and then for reasons best known to yourself you went to Miss Knapton’s motor vehicle and smashed her car window with that bottle causing her injuries which I have seen in photographs.”
She was “wholly innocent” of any wrongful activity and the injuries she suffered had a serious effect on her.
Recorder Babb said he had read her victim impact statement which described how she still finds it difficult to go out and about in a car particularly when somebody approaches her.
He said he had considered the guidelines and the trauma to Miss Knapton and the injuries although severe were not the most serious in their context.
“Clearly if you had not consumed a quantity of alcohol this offence was not likely to have been committed.”
But he said he accepted “there was some provocation however unintended it was on behalf of Miss Leroy. She was intending only to mess about with your bike but because of the alcohol you misconstrued and over-reacted.”
He was therefore able to suspend the sentence. He ordered Shires to pay the compulsory £900 criminal courts charge and said that prevented compensation.
He told Shires he hoped the case had been a lesson to him and Shires replied “a big one".