Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By NEIL GOOD­WIN

A BRIDE-to-be was ‘dis­fig­ured’ at her en­gage­ment party when a woman who had once ap­peared on de­lib­er­ately smashed a glass into her face, a jury was told.

It should have been one of the hap­pi­est days in Lucy Steers’ life but Jen­nifer Eck­ley’s at­tack on her made it one of the worst, a court heard.

It was sug­gested dur­ing the trial that Eck­ley’s past ap­pear­ance on The Jeremy Kyle Show was the trig­ger which led to the al­leged at­tack.

The de­fence sug­gested that Ms Steers had been ‘taunt­ing’ Eck­ley about her ap­pear­ance on the con­tro­ver­sial show and the vi­o­lence then broke out.

De­tails of why Eck­ley ap­peared on Jeremy Kyle were not given to the jury.

Glouces­ter Crown Court heard Ms Steers suf­fered a bro­ken nose, a ‘gap­ing’ inch-long wound on the bridge of her nose and two other cuts – one to the side of the nose and one to the eye.

Just be­fore glass­ing Ms Steers, Eck­ley told her, “I sup­pose you think you’re f***ing pretty. Well you won’t be now”.

Child-min­der Eck­ley, 27, of Newent, Glos de­nies wound­ing Lucy Steers with in­tent to cause her griev­ous bod­ily harm on the night of De­cem­ber 1 last year at the town’s Ge­orge Ho­tel.

She also de­nies as­sault­ing an­other woman guest, Kate Ta y l o r, by a beat­ing.

But he jury was told that she has, how­ever, ad­mit­ted a less se­ri­ous as­sault on Ms Steers and a charge of as­sault on Kate Tay­lor’s sis­ter, Nicola Tay­lor.

Pros­e­cu­tor Ju­lian Kes­ner told the jury that the as­saults on the Tay­lor sis­ters hap­pened be­tween about 10.3010.45pm that night. He said that what sparked the at­tack was Nicola Tay­lor bad-mouthing Eck­ley’s boyfriend Mark Beacham.

Nicola Tay­lor had gone out with Mr Beacham be­fore Eck­ley be­came his girl­friend.

He said: “She left the most se­ri­ous as­sault till last. Glass in hand she hit and dis­fig­ured Lucy Steers.

“Rather than be­ing one of the hap­pi­est days of Lucy Steers’ life, it turned out to be one of the worst.”

Lucy had thrown the party at the Ge­orge with her fi­ance Craig Mor­timer as her fa­ther was a man­ager at the ho­tel, said Mr Kes­ner.

He told the jury the first as­sault was when Nicola Tay­lor was in an al­ley­way and Eck­ley ap­proached her and said she was fed up with what she was say­ing about her bloke.

“She grabbed Nicola Tay­lor’s hair and banged her head against a wall,” he said.

He said Eck­ley was pulled away but an hour later she ap­proached Ms Steers in the bar and was ‘hav­ing a go at her’.

Eck­ley was ar­rested about an hour af­ter the glass­ing and made no comment, ex­cept to say to a po­lice­man, “No-one is go­ing to want me to look af­ter their kids now that I have glassed some­one in the face.”

Yet in her de­fence state­ment Eck­ley has de­nied say­ing that to the of­fi­cer, de­nied she had a glass in her hand and dis­puted that Lucy’s in­juries were caused by a glass, the court heard.

In ev­i­dence, blonde Ms Steers – whose Vshaped scar on her nose is still clearly vis­i­ble – said she could re­mem­ber noth­ing of the at­tack.

In cross-ex­am­i­na­tion she de­nied dis­cussing Eck­ley’s ap­pear­ance on the Jeremy Kyle Show.

In ev­i­dence Ms Steers’ fa­ther, Ge­of­frey – who had ear­lier had words with her – told the jury he thought Eck­ley was not drunk but had ‘taken some­thing’.

The trial con­tin­ues.

talk­ing Richard Mul­len­der has lives in his hands on a daily ba­sis and has even ne­go­ti­ated with the Tal­iban!

As one of the coun­try’s top hostage ne­go­tia­tors Richard has seen it all on the front line in­clud­ing try­ing to sort re­leases in Afghanistan.

Talk­ing about the hit film Re­bel­lion, which was re­leased on DVD this Mon­day, Richard was keen to high­light the prob­lems faced by hostage ne­go­tia­tors on a daily ba­sis.

The film sees a flash­back to 1988 where a group of 30 po­lice­men had been kid­napped by sep­a­ratists from the French con­trolled colony in New Caledonia.

Tasked with res­cu­ing the hostages a group of spe­cial­ist ne­go­tia­tors and soldiers were sent to the Me­lane­sian Is­land, where Cap­tain Philippe Le­gor­jus tried to find a peace­ful res­o­lu­­fore bul­lets start fly­ing.

Speak­ing of his own ex­pe­ri­ences, 62-year-old Richard has opened up to the Mid­week Sport about what it takes to be a suc­cess­ful ne­go­tia­tor and the trou­bles you face ev­ery time you’re sent out on a mis­sion in­clud­ing the pain you feel when they don’t work out.

The hostage spe­cial­ist said there were times where “from the out­set you kind of knew it wasn’t go­ing to work out well, those sit­u­a­tions are much more tough.”

Hav­ing started his ca­reer as a Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Depart­ment he be­came a trainer at the Scot­land Yard Crime Academy in 1994 and dur­ing his time there helped to de­velop cour­ses to train peo­ple tasked with in­ves­ti­gat­ing ma­jor crimes.

In 2002 he was given the nod to step up once again and was ap­pointed to the Hostage and Cri­sis Ne­go­ti­a­tion Unit at Scot­land Yard.

In the fol­low­ing years he ar­ranged the re­lease of hostages from war­zones in Afghanistan and was tasked with talk­ing down sui­ci­dal peo­ple on the brink of end­ing their lives.

CLASH: ‘Vic­tim’ Lucy Steers ( and


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