Barming Miss England finalist who was glazed at West Malling pub recalls ‘trauma’ from attack

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A Miss England finalist who was glassed in and left with scars on her face has spoken of her trauma after her attacker escaped jail time.Olivia Cooke, 23, found herself with a shard of glass in her face after being hit with a glass of wine by China Gold at the Farmhouse pub in West Malling almost two years ago.

The beauty pageant contestant and golfer said she suffered from depression after the attack on Aylesford resident Gold.

“It took two years, where I suffered from depression and took a lot of time out of work – I’m teaching kids to golf, so it had a huge impact on my job as well.

“I made it to the Miss England final and it affected my ranking as I almost got disqualified for having a lawsuit in progress.

“I haven’t been out for a very long time and it was only recently that I started dating again, but certainly not in the same place. “

Olivia Cooke, 21, in the Miss England semi-final. Photo: Julie Cooke

Olivia was left with two scars on her head as a result of the October 2018 incident after the two got into a fight over the jibing Gold made over boyfriends.

Gold, of London Road, Aylesford, has pleaded not guilty to unlawful injury, but a Maidstone Crown Court jury sentenced her in less than an hour and she received an 18 month suspended sentence for two years and will serve 200 hours of unpaid work for the community. .

Judge Philip Statman had told the boss of the auto salvage and repair company to expect immediate jail time, but there was a delay in sentencing due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Speaking about the conviction, Olivia said: “It could have been the imprisonment, but I never thought she would go to jail anyway because of Covid on the minute and this is her first offense, so I wasn’t expecting anything. But I’m glad she got a two-year suspended prison sentence. ”

Gold was also ordered to pay her victim £ 7,000 in compensation, with Olivia revealing that she was about to have plastic surgery to make the scars smaller or invisible.

China Gold who avoided the prison
China Gold who avoided prison

After sentencing her, the judge said: “Your actions had a profound effect on your victim, but you are a fragile person, but that evening the red mist fell on you and you behaved. ‘in a way that was illegal, totally in character and led to these serious injuries.

“I accept that you really feel remorse for what you did.

During the trial, jurors were told that the last orders bell had sounded when the argument began.

Ms Cooke told the court that Gold made a ‘rude comment’, adding: ‘She just started coming towards me verbally, just calling me a milkman and a bitch and all that, and I sure am not’ .

She told the jury how Gold followed her out of the pub, grabbed her by the throat and punched her twice in the ensuing fight. “One to break glass and the second to hurt,” she said.

Julie et Olivia Cooke arrivant à Maidstone Magistrates 'Court. Image: Chris Davey
Julie and Olivia Cooke arriving at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court. Photo: Chris Davey

This left Ms Cooke with two wounds requiring five stitches – but Gold claimed she had no recollection of the incident and her subsequent account was dismissed by the jury.

After the incident, Olivia’s mother Julie punched Gold, banging her head against a wall and admitted an assault charge. She received an 18-month conditional discharge in July.

Olivia was also charged with assault, but no evidence was presented and the charge was dropped by the CPS.

Read more: All the latest news from Malling

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