Woman who glassed love rival in Donegal pub avoids jail

Margaret Saville was spared a custodial sentence after attending court with a €5,000 "token of remorse" which the victim accepted
Woman who glassed love rival in Donegal pub avoids jail

Stephen Maguire

A woman who claimed her husband was having an affair with a woman who she glassed in the face in a bar has avoided jail after making a "token of remorse" of €5,000 to the injured woman.

Margaret Saville and Jamie Murray crossed paths at the Bridge Inn in Dungloe, Co Donegal in the early hours of September 7th, 2019, the court heard.

Ms Murray was out for a drink with friends when she went to the smoking area just after midnight, where Saville (38) approached her and knocked a drink out of her hand, leading Ms Murray to throw her drink over Saville.

The accused followed Ms Murray, asking her for a word, but ended up pushing a glass Ms Murray had been holding towards her chin with such force that it broke.

Blood began pouring down Ms Murray's chest and she was rushed to the NowDoc medical service.

Garda Dermot Gallen said gardaí arrived on the scene at around 12.30am, but staff had cleaned the area so it could not be preserved for investigation.

However, they did manage to gather CCTV footage which caught the entire incident.


Saville, of Cois Locha, Gweedore Road, Dungloe, was arrested on September 24th and admitted the incident saying the pair had history.

She said the reason she approached Ms Murray was because she said the victim had an affair with her husband, however, Saville added that she did not intend to injure her.

Medical evidence presented to the court from Dr Donal Walsh said the victim suffered from five lacerations but could not receive needles as she had a needle phobia. Instead, she received paper stitches and tablets for any infection.

A follow-up examination GP, Dr Dara McEniff, said the scars had healed well, but the victim would be left with three scars. He added they would need assessment by a plastic surgeon to say more.

In her victim impact statement, Ms Murray (29) said she now suffers from severe anxiety and stress, and even had to move back in with her parents as a result of the incident.

Although the scars have improved, she said she is still very conscious of them, but added that she suffers more from the mental side of the incident, rather than the physical.


Barrister for Saville, Mr Sean Magee, said his client fully accepted what had happened and was very apologetic to Ms Murray.

He said she became emotional when she saw Ms Murray and needed to speak to her. He said it was never an intentional act to strike the victim with the glass, with Saville accepting the recklessness of her actions.

He added the mother of four was very annoyed and upset with herself for what had happened, adding that she knew Ms Murray's family as they were all from a close-knit community.

Saville had managed to gather €1,000 by way of an apology to Ms Murray, the court heard.

Judge John Aylmer said the injuries suffered by the victim were "appalling", but added the medical evidence in the case fell short as to whether Ms Murray will require plastic surgery in the future.

He said he accepted the case did not appear to be that of one in which a glass had been intentionally pushed into the face of another.

The judge added the offence would merit a prison sentence of three years, however, he said he had to take into account that Saville had no previous convictions.

Nonetheless, he said the €1,000 offered by the accused fell short of the sum which would have to be offered to avoid a custodial sentence.

In July last year, Judge Aylmer adjourned the case for a year, ordering Saville to bring €5,000 to court in offerance to the victim, at which point he would review the case.

On Tuesday, the court heard Saville had gathered the balance of the money and Ms Murray was open to accepting the cash token.

Judge Aylmer said because of her early plea, her cooperation, the fact that it was completely out of character and the lack of any previous convictions, he was reducing the sentence to one of two years.

He added that the accused suffered from depression and mental health issues, had difficulties in her personal relationship and had undertaken a victim awareness course.

On account of these factors, as well as a very positive report from the probation services, he suspended the entire two-year sentence.

He ordered Saville to be of good behaviour for 12 months and also to abstain from alcohol for that time.

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