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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Glamour model drops attack conviction appeal

A glamour model who last year won a battle against wearing an electronic tag because it would put her out of work was back in court yesterday...sporting two black eyes.

Sophie Dalzell photo
Sophie Dalzell at a hearing last May

Sophie Dalzell, 19, who used to live in Workington, was at Carlisle Crown Court to challenge a decision by magistrates to convict her of attacking two women in a nightclub.

Before going into court she had to get permission from Judge Barbara Forrester to wear huge sunglasses to hide the facial injuries.

Dalzell, who appeared in court in a black jacket and white patterned scarf over a grey jumper and tight black leggings, spoke only to confirm her name.

Her barrister William Staunton said that she was in an “entirely emotional state” because of her injuries, which also include a suspected broken nose.

No details of how she was injured were given, but Mr Staunton said: “Her face is her income. She needs to be presentable.” In the event her trip to court was unnecessary, because at the last minute she abandoned her appeal.

Magistrates had found her guilty last November of assaulting Samantha Kane and Carla Gill in Whitehaven on May 5.

Mr Staunton said that after talking to her legal representatives, she had decided not to challenge the magistrates’ decision.

He said all she cared about was the suggestion that she had deliberately headbutted one of her victims and kneed the other, but once her lawyers explained this was not what the magistrates convicted her of, she accepted the verdict.

She was ordered to pay £260 in court costs because two police officers and two civilian witnesses had to attend court in the expectation of having to give evidence. Mr Staunton said she was unable to pay immediately because her injuries would stop her working for 28 days.

Last year Dalzell, a former pupil of St Joseph’s Catholic High School who now lives in Falconwood Way, Manchester, was convicted of “using her foot as a weapon” in an assault on two Workington police officers in a drink-fuelled attack.

She was given a community order, told to pay more than £1,000 in costs and compensation and instructed to attend a Thinking Skills course.

Earlier she had hit the headlines after refusing to be fitted with an electronic tag on her ankle, claiming it would put her out of work.

She said later: “A tag on my ankle wouldn’t look very good. It’s an eyesore. Your appearance is everything.”

Her mother Andrea, 47, said her daughter was attacked in a Manchester nightclub when she intervened to help a woman pinned against a wall by a man. She added that Sophie was due to attend an ID parade to see whether she could identify her attacker. A suspect was arrested and released on police bail.

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