‘I’ve been scarred for life ’: Sunderland nurse relives horror bottle attack

The scar left on Brogan Kearney's cheek.
The scar left on Brogan Kearney's cheek.
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A nurse left scarred for life after being attacked with a bottle by a love rival has relived her horrific ordeal.

Mum-of-three Toni Gallagher punched and bit Brogan Kearney after hitting her face with such force the large glass bottle she had used as a weapon broke.

Brogan Kearney.

Brogan Kearney.

Brogan, 25, was left needing stitches and still has a scar on her left cheek. She also suffered a bruised face and a bite mark to her thumb after the attack in her garden on July 19.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the mental health nurse has been left feeling “very conscious” of the scar she has on her face, which she uses make up to cover.

The court heard there had been a “vitriolic” exchange of words over social media between the two women in the build up to the violence.

After the attack, Gallagher posted on one of her accounts “Been to Brogan’s and properly knackered her. Scared am I?

Toni Gallagher, 31, from Sunderland, avoided jail at Newcastle Crown Court.

Toni Gallagher, 31, from Sunderland, avoided jail at Newcastle Crown Court.

“I would have killed her if the neighbours never came out. She’s lucky to still be alive.”

Brave Brogan, from Grindon, was in court to see Gallagher walk free after being handed a suspended prison sentence.

She told the Echo: “I was covered in blood, I could not see.

“She came running at me with the bottle. It was horrible.

The bite mark left on Brogan Kearney's thumb.

The bite mark left on Brogan Kearney's thumb.

“She started biting me, she latched on to my thumb and the pain was awful.

“It all happened to quick I just saw this green thing coming towards me. There was blood everywhere and I was thinking ‘where is it coming from?’ but I couldn’t see as it was all over my eyes.

“Then a neighbour told me there was glass in my face and I ran in the house crying. We were using tea towels to stem the blood and I had to go to hospital.

“The scar on my cheek is still quite visible, people notice it and it makes me feel self-conscious.

“Every time I look in the mirror it reminds me what happened. I’ve been scarred for life and now I have to buy expensive make-up to try and cover it.”

Brogan added: “I was shocked when I heard what she posted after the attack, I hadn’t realised she said that.

“Anyone else would’ve probably gone for prison if they had done what she did but what’s done is done and I have to move on now.

“I don’t want to think or hear about her anymore. I just want to move on with my life now.”

Judge Tim Gittins said it may have been the case the man at the centre of the row may have been “playing one off against the other”.

Gallagher, of Friar Road, Ford Estate, Sunderland, admitted unlawful wounding.

The 31-year-old was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a three month night-time curfew, 80 hours unpaid work and programme requirements.

She was banned from having contact with Brogan for the next five years.

Judge Gittins told Gallagher: “What developed between you and Brogan Kearney in the days and weeks that led up to this assault was a vitriolic exchange over that man.

“I am not going to adjudicate over the rights and wrongs of that, nor about the way he may have been playing the two of you off, one against the other.

“Ultimately, such words exchanged were unpleasant between the two of you. They were child-like almost, in their nature and intensity.

“What it should not have done was descend into the violence that spilled out on July 19.”

The judge said he accepted Brogan had “goaded” Gallagher during the messaging exchanges in the build up to the attack, but said that was not an excuse for the outburst of violence.

The court heard Gallagher has a child with the man at the centre of the row, who had started a relationship with Brogan after their break up.

After the message exchange in the early hours of the morning, Gallagher travelled to Brogan’s home and launched the attack.

Robin Patton, defending, said Gallagher was vulnerable and depressed after the birth of her third child and had been on a rare night out with friends before she launched the violence.

Mr Patton added: “People speak incredibly high of her.

“Her biggest punishment is the public humiliation.”