A MAN left a teenage girl blind in one eye when she stepped in to stop him from attacking her pals with a broken wine bottle.
Megan Kerrigan took the full force of the jagged glass in her face when Andrew Wyness lashed out in the street on March 17.
The 17-year-old was left with devastating damage to her left eye, which her doctor said was the “most severe injury” he had seen in a young woman.
She has been left scarred for life and has lost two thirds of the coloured iris of her left eye.
Medics managed to save her eye, but she is unlikely to regain her full sight.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, Wyness (pictured), 23, of Bradford Avenue, Town End Farm, who has multiple previous convictions for violence and cruelty to an animal, was jailed for 10 years with a four-year extended licence period.
Judge Penny Moreland told him: “You do pose a significant risk of causing harm because of your previous convictions and because of the nature of this offence.
“You used a jagged bottle as a weapon against a 17-year-old girl who was unarmed.
“Nothing she did that night begins to justify what you did to her.
“The consequences of what you did to her are appalling.
“She has to live with all that for the rest of her life.”
In a victim statement, Megan said: “When you have had sight all of your life and then lost it its heartbreaking.
“I had beautiful eyes. I used to take pride and use make-up to accentuate the look of my eyes.
“I am not sure if I ever will do again.
“I feel very conscious of people staring at me, children stare.
“My self esteem is getting lower and lower. It will live with me forever.”
Megan had been out with friends when they walked past Wyness and his pals at Wenlock Road, South Shields.
Trouble flared between the groups and Wyness headed to a nearby shop to arm himself with bottles.
CCTV footage shows Megan confronting Wyness in the shop in a bid to stop him taking the weapons outside.
But he smashes a wine bottle on the floor and storms into the street.
Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court: “Clearly she was concerned he was going to use the bottle against her friends.
“She stepped in his way.
“He then punched her in the face with his left hand then immediately hit her with his right hand which was holding the bottle.
“She was hit in the face and she fell to the floor.
“She describes blood everywhere, all over her face. She was in shock and she started screaming.”
Megan was taken to hospital where a cut to her right eye was stitched.
Her left eye had suffered extensive bruising, swelling and haemorrhaging and she needed surgery to repair the damage..
Jamie Adams, defending, read an extract of a letter Wyness had sent to the judge to the court.
It said: “I was shocked and sickened and still am now.
“It must be horrible for Megan and the people that love her to go through something like this.
“I wish I could go back and change everything.”