Woman sentenced for smashing wine glass in Miss England finalist’s face

A woman convicted of smashing a wine glass into a Miss England finalist’s face after a row at a bar has been handed a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £7,000 in compensation.

Professional golfer and pageant hopeful Olivia Cooke needed stitches for facial injuries caused by China Gold, 28.

Ms Cooke was rushed to hospital after the incident in October 2018, requiring five stitches to fix the cuts to her face – one of which was 5cm long.

Olivia Cooke
Olivia Cooke

Gold, of London Road in Ditton, denied unlawful wounding but was convicted by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court in March.

On Friday, she sobbed in the dock as she was handed an 18-month sentence suspended for two years.

The incident took place at The Farm House pub in West Malling, Kent, after Ms Cooke became upset with “crude” comments being made about her by Gold, the trial heard.

Gold later struck Ms Cooke twice with her wine glass, “one to break the glass and the second one to cause injury”.

Gold accepted causing the injuries to Ms Cooke’s face but failed to convince the jury that she was acting in self-defence.

China Gold
China Gold

During sentencing on Friday, the court heard the incident had had a significant impact on Ms Cooke.

In a statement made two days after she was injured, Ms Cooke said: “I feel very angry and upset and I know I will have a scar on my face from this.

“I was confused as to why China would do this and disfigure me. I was crying in the hospital.”

The court heard the incident had caused Ms Cooke long-term upset, including depression and anxiety, and that it may cost around £5,000 to help cover her scar with surgery.

Judge Philip Statman said: “She sustained a very upsetting injury. It is a cosmetic injury as well as a loss of feeling through nerve damage … this is an ugly wound that’s occurred.”

Olivia Cooke
Olivia Cooke

Ms Cooke’s statement also said she had faced additional stress by anonymous calls made to her work and to the Miss England competition about the incident.

“I think this also affected my chances in the competition and my future ambitions of a modelling career,” Ms Cooke added.

In mitigation, Robin Griffiths said Gold had expressed remorse and had saved £7,000 since the incident, ready to pay compensation, as well as suffering from mental health issues of her own.

Passing sentence, Judge Statman said: “At the end of this incident your victim sustained an ugly injury to her face which will leave her scarred.

“She suffered then and continues to suffer the effects of your violence.”

Judge Statman continued: “I am satisfied in my own mind that you do feel genuine remorse for what you have done.

“I am completely sure in my own mind that you are someone who is fragile, but on this particular evening the red mist descended upon you and you behaved in a way that was wholly unlawful.

“There is a significant, realistic prospect in any case that if I do not send you to prison today you will be rehabilitated.”

He also said the impact of Covid-19 on those facing or in prison was a factor to consider in sentencing.

In addition to paying compensation within 14 days, Gold will also be required to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. She will also be subject to a restraining order for five years.