A WOMAN was last night (September 3) starting a seven year jail sentence after stamping on her best friend's face with her silver stiletto shoe - blinding her in one eye.

Care assistant Melissa Causer, 21, was involved in what a judge described as a “drunken catfight” which escalated following a row over hairspray and a taxi fare.

Her 20-year-old victim - university student Sophie Robinson - suffered irreparable damage after the last of the blows from the thin high heel split open her right eyeball.

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Causer, of Middleton St George, near Darlington, was sentenced yesterday (September 3) having earlier been convicted by a jury at Teesside Crown Court of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. She had denied the charge.

In a statement Miss Robinson, of Northallerton, North Yorkshire, said the injury had changed her life forever.

“These things still affect me daily," she added. "I still find it hard when people stare at me and I am so self conscious.

“This whole incident has changed mine and my family’s life forever. I will be reminded everyday of my life about what happened to me.

“I also struggle with trust issues. I become really wary when I am around people who drink alcohol. It makes me feel anxious and nervous as I don’t fully trust anyone.”

Miss Robinson, who is due to have a false eye fitted, added: “I can’t understand why she (Causer) pleaded not guilty and made me go through this whole experience."

The two women had been on a night out in Middlesbrough on January 10 and brawled on their return to Causer’s home - having initially argued over hairspray and a taxi fare.

Causer, of Brown Buildings, Middleton St George, pinned Miss Robinson down and was being pulled off her by her own father when she struck out with her stiletto shoes in what police branded a “moment of madness fuelled by drink”.

Annalise Haugstad, mitigating, told Teesside Crown Court: “She expresses genuine remorse and regret for the injury caused to her friend. There is no suggestion that the footwear was worn deliberately to cause this injury.”

She added that it was out of character and involved a momentary loss of control.

Prosecutor Richard Bennett said: "There can be no suggestion of excessive self-defence. This was an attack.”

Sentencing Causer to seven years jail, Judge Peter Bowers revealed he had considered placing the offence into a more serious category which could have resulted in a 16 year jail sentence

“While you deliberately kicked out into her face I am satisfied that your intention to cause serious harm to your friend was only momentary," he added.

“In every sense of the word this is a case which is truly tragic. It was a drunken catfight that arose out of nothing and as a result two lives have been changed forever.”