A SCHOOLGIRL has been left almost blind in one eye after being hit by an egg thrown from a passing car.
The 13-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered a severe haemorrhage at the back of her eye and shell scratches to the front after she was hit in the face.
Newcastle Crown Court heard 18-year-old Jay Gomes bought a box of eggs to throw at strangers as he drove around the streets of Sunderland.
One of the missiles struck the schoolgirl with huge force as she walked along with her pals.
“All she remembers is a car coming along the street and then she felt a significant impact to her eye,” said prosecutor Simon Worthy.
“She said in her statement she seemed to see something thrown from the car and the car simply drove off.
“She found there was egg shell in her eye and hair.”
The youngster was taken to hospital and her eye washed.
Medics were initially unable to say how bad her injury would be and follow up appointments were made.
But in a recent statement her doctor said: “It is a very serious injury to her right eye.
“Her vision is going to be permanently, substantially impaired.”
The court heard the girl now fears walking in the street by herself in case it happens again.
She told police: “It is a lifelong injury. I don’t know how it will affect me in the future.”
Gomes, of Grindon Gardens, admitted causing grievous bodily harm on March 24.
Judge Guy Whitburn yesterday branded Gomes’ actions “stupid”.
But the teenager was allowed to keep his freedom after the judge said: “I have a stark choice, you ruined that girl’s life. Am I going to ruin your life by locking you up?”
Gomes was given 36 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years, plus 200 hours unpaid work.
He was also given a four-month curfew, between 7.30pm and 6am, and told to pay £1,000 compensation.
The judge said the sentence could be suspended because of Gomes’ guilty plea, genuine remorse and previous good character.
He told the teenager: “By reason of your reckless act you have deprived a young girl of 13 of the sight in one of her eyes; that is effectively it, it is the gravest injury.
“What a stupid thing to do – buying eggs so you could thrown them out of the window at people who were utter strangers to you.
“You could not, I accept, have foreseen what you have done.
“I am quite certain, coming from the sort of family that you do and the background you have been fortunate enough to have, it would never have occurred to you that this would happen.
“You are going to live with this for the rest of your life.”
The court heard Gomes is due to start working abroad.
Judge Whitburn added: “Never forget what you did. Never forget where you appeared as a result of it. Do not commit any offence again.”