A mother has been jailed for six years after biting off a chunk of a woman's nose like a "shark" during a children's pantomime at Butlins.
Tina Love, 28, head-butted mother-of-three Julie McDonald before biting off part of her nose and spitting it out on to the floor.
A court heard that the attack in front of 450 people, including many children, followed a "stupid and childish dispute" over whose table was whose at Butlins in Bognor Regis, West Sussex. WORDS: PA
Realising the seriousness of her actions, Love then tried to leave the theatre venue but she was stopped by security guards.
Part of Ms McDonald's nose had to be reattached during surgery following Love's "appalling" attack on her in April 2013, prosecutors said.
Chichester Crown Court heard Love lunged at Ms McDonald, who was due to return home the following morning with her three children, aged nine to 16.
Prosecutor Rachel Beckett said Love had launched a sustained attack, described as like a "shark attack", which left Ms McDonald scarred for life and suffering low self-esteem.
In a victim impact statement read by Ms Beckett in court, Ms McDonald, then 47, said the attack left her living a "nightmare that I just can't seem to wake up from".
Her statement said: "Up until the night of the incident we had enjoyed our stay at Butlins. The children had a great time and we were ready to go home the following morning.
"We attended the theatre that evening looking forward to the pantomime. My two younger children had gone to the front of the stage to watch the show whilst (my daughter) had taken her homework to the show to study for her exams.
"What happened to me next has devastated me beyond words. The assault on me was unwarranted, unprovoked and has left me scarred for life.
"I was left in the theatre covered in blood with one of my children next to me as I screamed out in shock and pain."
Ms McDonald said she was rushed to hospital, and had two black eyes, a scar across the top of her nose and a yellow surgical sponge pinned to her face to hold her nose together.
Sleepless nights, anxiety and fear followed the attack, she added, and she cannot breathe easily from her misshapen nose, which she has to cover in sunscreen in all seasons as it reddens.
Ms McDonald's statement went on: "I suffered the ridicule of being stared at by passers-by whilst the surgical sponge was still in place on the end of my nose.
"You can't hide from this. It is there every day staring me in the face when I look in the mirror and I have to deal with this for the rest of my life."
Love, of Acacia Road, Dartford, Kent, was found guilty of wounding with intent following a trial which ended last month.
She sat in the dock with her head in her hands as the victim impact statement described the toll taken on Ms McDonald, who has a disabled child.
Neil Guest, defending, said Love will lose her local authority home and be separated from her three children, aged eight, five and four.
Describing her as a "true, caring mother", he said in mitigation that she had no previous convictions, had not been in trouble since the attack and was at low risk of re-offending.
Mr Guest said: "She's a true, caring mother who helps strangers and gives to charities. What came over her that night we simply don't know. Whatever did happen was totally and completely out of character."
Jailing her, Recorder Mark Milliken-Smith QC said it was a "tragic case" in which everyone had suffered, including Love's own children.
Cosy winter cottages in the UK
Woman bites off chunk of holidaymaker's nose during Butlins pantomime
Snug, cosy and perfect for a winter break, Ann Perrots Cottage is a traditional stone cottage nestling in rolling countryside in the village of Priskilly Fawr, six miles from the seaside village of Abercastle. The cottage has a sitting/dining room with a large inglenook fireplace with a wood-burning stove, kitchen and bathroom, plus two bedrooms tucked in the eaves. It’s ideally placed for bracing coastal and countryside winter walks – the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is close by – and the tiny city of St Davids is 12 miles away. £355 per week (sleeps four).
Set within a vast private estate of 4,500 acres in Suffolk lies enchanting, one-bedroom cottage Hex Cottage, offering the ideal place to get away from it all this winter. With no electricity or WiFi, the cottage is perfect for those who fancy a tech-free winter break. Hex Cottage is heated with a wood-fired stove and there are working fireplaces in the bedroom and sitting room. From £225 per night (sleeps two).
This detached lodge in southern Scotland offer luxurious accommodation nestled in a private, peaceful bay within a stone’s throw from the sea shore while close to all local amenities. Those who can't get enough of the outdoors even in winter will adore the private enclosed balcony with its hot tub and sea views. Inside Rascarrel Bay Lodge 1, there is a king-sized bed with views, a lounge/kitchen, wine-cooler and flatscreen TV, ideal for lazy winter days in. £615 per week (sleeps two).
Part of a row of converted farm buildings on Northern Ireland's Crom Estate, Aspen Cottage overlooks woodland with wildlife including birds and deer. From the cottage you can explore the estate and Lough Erne, just 100 metres away, as well try your hand at fishing and boating. The cottage boasts two bedrooms and an open fire in the cosy living room. From £213 for four nights.
This 18th century stone cottage is the epitome of a traditional Lakeland property and offers the ideal base for exploring all the Lake District has to offer in winter. Only a couple of minutes from thriving Coniston village, Crag Cottage boasts a roaring open fire, plenty of charm and character and stunning views of the lakes and mountains. There are two bedrooms and a lovely patio with views across to Grizedale Forest and the lake. From £290 for short breaks and £550 for seven nights (sleeps four).
A fabulous 18th century thatch filled with 21st century luxuries, Rose Cottage is situated right in the heart of High Bickington and oozes character and charm. You'll find a beachcomber hot tub, a 6ft copper bath, log wood burner, 3D TV, honesty bar, large comfy beds and state-of-the-art Bose surround sound system, as well as an iPad Air. The romantic cottage is close to two pubs and a post office - all you need to go back to basics on a winter break. From £300 for short breaks and £425 for seven nights (sleeps four).
With its virtually unaltered interior, Tan y Bwlch is an iconic Grade II Listed Penllyn croglofft cottage ideal for holing up this winter. As well as traditional features such as an inglenook fireplace, slate, tile and wooden floors and original beams, it has been furnished in keeping with the period. Situated on the slopes of Mynydd Rhiw, on the Plas yn Rhiw Estate, the cottage has one of the most sought after locations on Llyn Peninsula, with stunning views over Porth Neigwl. From £296 for four nights (sleeps two).
A cosy thatched, detached granite and cob, 16th century cottage in the Dartmoor National Park, Gibhouse is ideal for a winter break - especially a snowy one. Approached by a half-mile private lane, the cottage lies peacefully in a combe 200 yards from a beautiful wooded stretch of the River Teign. A peaceful haven, the cottage is prettily furnished and decorated in keeping with its great period character. The cosy living/dining room features a granite open fireplace with bread oven and accommodation is in two bedrooms with two bath/shower rooms. From £533 for seven nights (sleeps four).
This stunning 16th century spacious tower is set in an elevated position enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding rolling hills and countryside of Selkirk. Arranged over four floors, The Tower offers five large bedrooms with handmade beds, roll-top baths and en-suite bathrooms. The great hall features a huge stone fireplace with open fire and beautiful views. The historic study is a great place to curl up with a book in front of a fire and the sitting room is ideal for relaxing with a hot chocolate and a movie. From £2,135 per week (sleeps 11).
For a rustic winter break, head for Ty Unnos, a romantic thatched cottage complete with an impressive inglenook fireplace and jarringly beautiful views of the Carmarthenshire countryside. Ty Unnos boasts one of the most authentic Welsh cottage interiors in Wales. Built from local materials in the old-fashioned way, in just one night as per tradition, it is a typical croglofft cottage – an open-plan living space with a sleeping loft over. It really is like stepping back in time into a museum-quality interior. From £219 for three nights (sleeps three).
Pedn Billy is a boathouse so secluded that it doesn't even have a road down to it. Tucked away on its own private beach with sublime views up the Helford River, the cosy thatched boathouse provides as much privacy as anyone could wish for. There are glorious views from every room (even the bath) and those who enjoy winter walking can go for strolls along the beach when the tide is out, which leads to Helford Passage, a hamlet on the water with a great pub, The Ferry Boat Inn. Pedn Billy is a lovely alternative to the flashy, neighbouring properties of the rich and famous. From £540 for seven nights (sleeps six).
Check out the chocolate box view from this cosy Victorian farmstead in Cumbria. Part of a small group of lovingly restored period cottages dotted around a courtyard, this cottage is complete with a real log fire and wood burning stove to bring a warm glow to a traditional winter getaway. Graythwaite Cottages, near Hawkshead in the central Lake District, offers all the mod cons you’d expect from a self-catering stay, as well as nostalgic features including exposed beams and open fireplaces built from Lakeland stone. From £386 for seven nights for a cottage that sleeps two.
Built in the early 1800s, The Watermill features its original working water wheel. Located on the private 100 acre Whitehay Estate, just outside Wadebridge, it features a cosy living room which sits beneath high vaulted ceilings painted a warm red, with exposed beams heated quite literally to the rafters by the traditional cast iron wood burning stove. The holiday cottage is the epitome of a romantic, rural retreat fit for a couple or small family. From £500 for short breaks and £800 for seven nights (sleeps four).
A romantic cottage in a romantic setting, Moorland View Cottage dates back to 1705 and features all the elements for a cosy winter break: boutique decor, log fire, oak-beamed rooms, sumptuous beds, window seats with dreamy Dartmoor views, a rose garden and a romantic slipper bath for two. The cottage comes with Molton Brown toiletries and luxury Egyptian cotton bed linen, as well as scented candles and fluffy towels - bliss! From £212 per night with a minimum three-night stay (sleeps four).
Set in the heart of the New Forest, luxury hotel Lime Wood's two Forest Cottages are surrounded by forest and meadows, providing a perfect hideaway for families or those wanting a little more privacy. The cottages promise British luxury and service with a dollop of seclusion and escapism. Cottage 1 has a downstairs twin bedroom, while Cottage 2 has an upstairs bunk bedroom, both with a shower bathroom, rustic decor and oak floors for warmth and comfort. From £850 per night (sleeps four).
The unusual four-storey Victorian Shooting Box Tower in East Sussex was originally the shooting lodge for a privately-owned country estate near Netherfield. It has been imaginatively restored, furnished with style while retaining plenty of original features including high ceilings, wood panelling, stripped wooden floors, Gothic arched windows and the impressive fireplace in the sitting room housing a large multi-fuel burner. The warm wood panelling on the walls and ceilings is complemented by richly-coloured fabrics, rugs and tapestries to create a cosy and inviting ambience throughout the house. The tower enjoys a secluded rural location with views over beautiful woodland and fields as far as Hastings on the coast. Modern touches include a glamorous bathroom and shower room, iPod docking system and Nintendo Wii with a balance board for your use. From £570 for three nights and £760 for seven nights (sleeps eight).
Mill Moss Barn has the best of both worlds: contemporary style with character features. Situated in Patterdale, at the southern tip of Ullswater, with a shop, pub and restaurant within a few yards, the converted Lakeland barn has an open plan living space on the first floor to take advantage of the views, including a winter view of the lake. The stylish furnishings compliment the character of the property, with added benefits like WiFi, a wood burning stove and a great music system. From £315 for three nights (sleeps four).
This stunning cottage in Seahouses offers provides guests with breathtaking views across the harbour from the lounge while keeping warm and cosy in front of the wood burning stove. Coastguard Watch features all the home comforts: comfortable beds, flatscreen TV and a modern kitchen. Its location in the fishing village of Seahouses is ideal for beach walks. From £655 for seven nights (sleeps six).
Luxury bolthole Red Kite Barn, near Builth Wells, is pet-friendly and perfect for those seeking seclusion, uninterrupted views and a little indulgence. Set within 60 acres of private countryside, the contemporary interior of the barn blends natural materials with rustic chic style. Natural light floods the open plan living area upstairs through large windows giving extensive views of the quiet valley. After exploring in the fresh mountain air, you can retire to one of the unique bedrooms, each a sumptuous sanctuary. £785 for three nights and £1,735 for seven nights (sleeps six).
Beehive Cottage is a super snug Cotswold stone cottage in the picturesque village of Poulton, near Cirencester. The interior designer owner has combined country style with modern facilities to create an inviting and elegant cottage, perfect for families or friends. The front door of the cottage opens into the living room and there is flagstone tiling throughout the ground floor, with underfloor heating and cast iron radiators. There are three bedrooms and a kitchen/dining room, as well as the snug, with a flatscreen TV and lots of books and games, which provides somewhere quiet to relax or a sociable place to sit and chat. From £663 for seven nights (sleeps six).
This idyllic country retreat in East Sussex is set in large gardens and boasts a hot tub, a kitchen with an Aga and a dining room with a working inglenook fireplace. Scrag Oak Farm has a boot room to keep all your wellies and coats, and the farm house has three bedrooms, a snug and drawing room. The hot tub in the garden has its own shed so you don't have to run out into the snow in your swimsuit! From £1,000 for seven nights (sleeps 12).
With panoramic coastal views across St Brides Bay to Skomer and Ramsey Islands, this spacious luxury holiday home is a wonderful winter hideaway with views. Carreg Wen was created from a former 18th century Pembrokeshire malt house, with its original exterior features retained including two flights of stone steps, a 'goose hole' and dovecotes. Set down a woodland drive on the edge of Solva, the cottage is stylishly furnished with an eclectic mix of antique and modern pieces and original art work. From £899 for seven nights (sleeps six).
This whitewashed, traditional Victorian cottage stands on the shores of Loch Fyne and features a garden that sweeps down to the lochside, with stunning views. Merrylee Cottage has a cosy sitting room with an open fire and an additional den/sitting room, as well as a super kitchen and an elegant dining room, two bedrooms and bathroom. From £385 for seven nights (sleeps four).
Great for gourmands, Crab Cottage, in Sidlesham, is perfectly located next to The Crab and Lobster restaurant with rooms. It is hidden on a pretty coastal lane and features two double rooms, a lounge and kitchen, with breakfast in the pub included in the price of a stay. The AA-rated property offers a pretty location overlooking the Pagham Harbour nature reserve, one of few undeveloped stretches on the Sussex coast, and one of the UK’s top havens for seabird and wildlife - binoculars are provided. The unspoilt coast, in particular the nearby Manhood Peninsular, offers great winter walks and brilliant sunsets. From £187.50 per night, based on two people sharing (sleeps four).
A traditional Welsh farmhouse, Cappele Cottage is full of character and offers an exciting blend of traditional features and modern style. Perfect for a romantic retreat or a family holiday, guests can enjoy uninterrupted valley views from the spacious outdoor area and from the front rooms of the house, including the quirky en-suite bathroom, where they can take in the fabulous scenery while soaking in the tub. Outdoor enthusiasts and foodies will love this cottage, which offers walks from the door as well as various outdoor activities in Snowdonia and the Rhug Farm Shop nearby for local produce. £600 for three nights and £1,145 for seven nights (sleeps four).
Seventeenth-century Primrose Cottage is a compact and cosy home for couples in Kersey, one of Suffolk’s prettiest little villages. The Grade II Listed building, with wavy walls appropriately painted a sunny yellow, has a snug, beamed sitting room with a large squashy sofa and wood-burning stove in an inglenook fireplace. A steep narrow staircase leads up to the one pretty, beamed bedroom and ensuite bathroom with a roll-top bath and underfloor heating. The cottage also has a sun-trap courtyard garden, and is within a short walk of the village pub. £310 for three nights and £415 for seven nights (sleeps two).
This 400-year-old holiday cottage is full of character, with small windows, low and impressive beams, antiques, a stone staircase and sloping floors for a holiday with a difference. Bend or Bump Cottage is comfortably furnished and equipped with an open fire for those cosy winter evenings, while decorated over the festive period. Enjoy breathtaking views of Coniston's fells from the back door of the property. A short winter walk away is the centre of Coniston, with its shops, pubs and restaurants. From £335 for seven nights (sleeps four).
Part of five luxury cottages converted from old stone farm buildings, Hazelnut Cottage is set in 70 acres of meadow and woodland and boasts high-pitched ceilings, warm terracotta floor tiles, exposed beams and stone walls throughout, with stunning views out onto the courtyard and down into the valley below. Perfect for couples, the warm and romantic cottage has an open fire with cosy sofas and rugs in the living room. A heavy curtain divides the living room from the peaceful sleeping area with its exquisite en-suite bathroom, which is reached through a hidden door in the wood panelling. In winter, you can enjoy the crisp frosty mornings, mulled wine in a local pub, cooking up a gourmet feast in your well equipped kitchen, or simply relaxing in comfort by the open fire. From £286 for three nights (sleeps two).
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Britain's best hotels 2014
Woman bites off chunk of holidaymaker's nose during Butlins pantomime
Top spot goes to the Milestone Hotel in London, overlooking Kensington Gardens. The grade II listed boutique hotel offers a 24-hour butler service and exceptional facilities including a heated resistance pool, cocktail bar and chauffeur-driven Bentley. "Decadent luxury from and age gone by… worth every one of its five stars and possibly more," says one reviewer.Double rooms from £450.
Rudding Park is set against beautifully landscaped gardens and woodlands. Tripadvisor reviewers rave about this privately owned AA 4 Red Star Harrogate hotel, with has a spa, gym, private cinema and an 18 hole golf course. "All hotels shoud be like this," raved one reviewer. Double rooms from £233.
Within walking distance of historic Windsor Great Park, Coworth Park is a gateway to the breathtaking views and heritage sites that make the southeast of England such a fascinating and rewarding region to visit. An eco-luxury spa and horse riding are just some of the offerings to keep you occupied. "Gorgeous setting, fabulous staff... little extra touches that make it extra special... totally professional and efficient yet the atmosphere is completely tranquil and relaxed," says one reviewer.
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Swinton Park, the former ancestral seat of the Earl of Swinton, provides castle accommodation set in 20,000 acres of the rolling Yorkshire Dales. The emphasis here is on good food and the hotel runs a cookery school where you can be taught all the tricks of the trade. "This venue is second to none in its hospitality and customer care... Take a walk through the sprawling grounds and see wildlife and nature close up. The views are stunning," says one reviewer. Double rooms from £165.
Minutes from Buckingham Palace, 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences is a five-star hotel exuding luxury in prestigious surroundings. A butler service, the Michelin starred Quilon Restaurant and an exclusive spa, 51 bills itself as the luxurious home away from home. "A real treat - and a classic case of really getting what you pay for - and worth every penny," says one reviewer.
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Independently owned and managed, Longueville Manor boasts 30 bedrooms and suites, a renowned restaurant and perfect surroundings. It is the island's sole member of the world's finest collection of small hotels and restaurants, Relais & Châteaux. "I would recommend this hotel if you are planning a break to recharge your batteries and experience exquisite surroundings and excellent service," says one reviewer. Double rooms from £100.
The ideally positioned Soho Hotel, just off Oxford Street, is a modern, chic hotel with dramatic urban design and furnishings. Rooms are luxurious and spacious with great views of London. "Perfect location for walking everywhere. Very attentive service from front desk and restaurant staff. Rooms are large and well designed and equipped. Most comfy beds and pillows ever," says one reviewer. Double rooms from £354.
The cubist, modern facade of Casa in Chesterfield doesn't look like it hides a top rated hotel. There isn't a claw-footed bathtub or oil painting in sight: instead you'll find rain showers, LCD TVs and the Cocina restaurant where the chefs use Spanish charcoal-fired ovens to create Mediterranean dishes."We always stay here when we come to Chesterfield, it is brilliant in every way! Couldn't fault it!" says one reviewer. Double rooms from £99.
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