Mother-of-one's life 'changed forever' after being slashed across the face with a broken glass

Natalie Arthurs was attacked in the toilets of a bar while out celebrating Beaujolais Day. Credit: Media Wales

Warning: Contains graphic images of injuries

A mum who was slashed across the face with a broken glass by a stranger in a bar has said her life has "changed forever".

Natalie Arthurs, 36, was left permanently scarred after the unprovoked assault and has been unable to return to work.

The woman who attacked Miss Arthurs – 25-year-old Emily Williams – has been sentenced to five years in prison for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

Williams continues to deny she slashed her victim with a glass and said she does not know how the horrific injuries were caused.

A judge described what she did as "wicked almost beyond belief".Swansea Crown Court heard the assault took place in the toilets of the Peppermint bar in Swansea's Wind Street on Thursday 17 November 2022 – a day which saw crowds in the city centre celebrating Beaujolais Day.

The court heard Miss Arthurs is currently under the care of the burns and plastics department at Morriston Hospital. Credit: Media Wales

Just before 6pm Miss Arthurs was in the toilets when Williams came in and started shouting at her.

Williams then smashed the glass she was carrying and used the weapon to slash her victim's face.

Miss Arthurs said: "I was putting on lipstick in the mirror when I heard a voice with an angry tone shouting something like: 'Who do you think you are?'

"I heard a glass smashing and I turned around and saw a woman with blonde hair and a glass in her hand. I saw the glass coming towards my face.

"It was all so quick. I felt something cold cutting into my face. I knew it was bad."

During the trial, a woman who witnessed the incident described the defendant as looking "possessed".Miss Arthurs continued: "I felt like someone was trying to kill me. There was such a sense of rage and anger in the person who did this."

Miss Arthurs' friend who had also been in the toilets with her was able to get help and venue bouncers took Williams away.

Miss Arthurs' parents drove her to Morriston Hospital where she was to spend the next three days.

The court heard Miss Arthurs is currently under the care of the burns and plastics department at Morriston and faces further procedures and treatments in the coming years.

Miss Arthurs, who lives in Cwmrhydyceirw in Swansea, said: "It took 15 months for this to come to trial. For those 15 months I think I was in shock – like autopilot.

"It is only now I am coming to terms with everything. I am going to have this scar for the rest of my life – I know that.

"In the past I always avoided conflicts and I felt like I was in control. This has just knocked me and shown me you are not in control of what happens.

"It was a random, unprovoked attack done for no reason. This has changed my outlook on life."

Emily Williams was sentenced to five years in prison. Credit: South Wales Police / Media Wales

The mum-of-one said she has felt unable to return to her work as a self-employed cleaner following the assault and has also given up her role in the Army Reserves where she was training to be a driver with the Royal Logistic Corps.

In an impact statement that was read to the court by prosecution barrister Alycia Carpanini during the hearing, Miss Arthurs said the events of that November afternoon "changed my life forever".

She said she had been an outgoing person, but now has overwhelming anxiety and panic attacks, "cries most days" and struggles to sleep most nights, and has been left endlessly asking the question: "Why me?".

She said she is now constantly on edge and struggles to trust people and said she "despises" seeing the scar or touching it, which she had to do several times a day as part of her rehabilitation.

Emily Monica Williams, of Carmarthenshire, had previously been convicted at trial of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent when she appeared in the dock for sentencing.

She has no previous convictions but has a youth caution for possession of the drug speed from 2013.

Defending Jon Tarrant said Williams was the sole carer for two young children and said references before the court show "a very different side" to Williams than the one seen during the trial process.

Judge Huw Rees told Williams what she had done to a stranger in the toilets of Peppermint had been "wicked almost beyond belief" and it had left her victim with an "obvious disfiguring wound" to her face.

The defendant was sentenced to five years in prison.

She will serve two-thirds of the sentence in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.

She was also made the subject of a restraining order banning her from contacting her victim or posting anything about her on social media for the next 10 years.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…