Woman tells court she did not mean to blind her best friend during fight

WITNESS SOBBED: Melissa Causer outside Teesside Crown Court, Middlesbrough, last week

WITNESS SOBBED: Melissa Causer outside Teesside Crown Court, Middlesbrough, last week

First published in News
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Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Assistant News Editor

A WOMAN sobbed in court as she relived the night she blinded her best friend when their fun evening out turned to tragedy.

Melissa Causer wept throughout her harrowing two hours in the witness box on the third day of her Teesside Crown Court trial.

The 21-year-old accepted she must have caused the injury to Sophie Robinson, but told a jury yesterday she had not meant to.

Miss Robinson, 20, lost her right eye during the incident outside of her friend's home in Middleton-St-George, Darlington.

The prosecution case is that Miss Causer deliberately stamped on her face as she lay prone on the ground after a fight.

It is claimed one stamp landed above her left eye, another hit the side of her head, and the third pierced her eyeball.

Miss Causer was asked by her barrister, Annalise Haugstad: "What do you say to that?" She replied: "That I didn't."

The barrister asked: "How did the injury come about?" Miss Causer said: "I presume the injury happened during the fight."

The court heard that the pair had a night out in Middlesbrough in January but fell out over hairspray and money.

Miss Robinson got a taxi back to her friend's home alone, and was followed by Miss Causer in a cab ten minutes later.

When they were both outside the house in the early hours, there was another argument about money and the fare, the court heard.

In a second fight, it is alleged Miss Causer knocked her friend to the ground, pinned her down, punched her and stamped on her.

In her evidence, the care assistant said her friend started the first brawl, and during the second they simply punched each other.

Various explanations - a ring or a fall on a sharp object or a false nail - have been suggested for the eye injury.

The defendant, of Browns Buildings, Middleton-St-George, denies causing grievous bodily harm with intent and grievous bodily harm.

She told the jury: "I didn't mean for the fight to happen, or the injury, and I was sorry for the injury and the fight."

The jury of six men and six women is expected to be sent out today to consider its verdict.

The case continues.

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