A Wollongong health care worker with no record for violence has been sentenced to full-time jail over the horrific glassing of the son of Illawarra surfing legend Terry Richardson.
Emily Mortlock will spend at least six months behind bars after failing to convince a magistrate to grant her leniency by imposing a community-based sentence instead of locking her up.
The 29-year-old, who works in frontline administration in the emergency department of Wollongong Hospital, admitted throwing the schooner glass at one of Mr Richardson's twin sons during a violent confrontation at the Cabbage Tree Hotel on July 29 last year.
Court documents said Mr Richardson, a former Australian and world masters surfing champion who reached No 7 in the world at the peak of his career in the early 1980s, was at pub with his sons Terry Jnr and Troy (twins) and Matthew celebrating Troy's Buck's party when their group got into an argument with Mortlock, her boyfriend and two others over the use of the pub's pool tables.
It's alleged one of the Buck's party group began making derogatory remarks towards Mortlock and her female friend, calling them "sluts" and "whores", sparking a verbal stoush between both sets of friends.
CCTV footage from the pub shows Terry Snr and Terry Jnr get up from their seats and walk towards the fracas.
Moments later, Terry Jnr can be seen to shove Mortlock's then-boyfriend, Daniel Quirk, in the chest.
Mortlock, who was standing less than two metres away, immediately threw a glass at Terry Jnr, hitting him in the left side if his face and causing the glass to shatter.
The incident sparked an all-in brawl, which was quickly broken up by staff.
Terry Jnr was taken to Wollongong Hospital then transferred to Sydney Eye Hospital where he underwent surgery to remove glass fragments that were embedded in his face.
His injuries included a severed tear duct, a lacerated eyeball which required five stitches, bruising to his eyeball, a 2cm cut above his left eye, a 1cm cut on his eyelid and multiple lacerations to his face from shards of glass.
Mortlock was arrested and charged with reckless wounding, to which she pleaded guilty last month.
In Wollongong Local Court on Friday, Magistrate Roger Clisdell read out a victim impact statement from Terry Jnr, saying the incident had completely changed his life.
"On a day that should have been a happy day, it ended with me being rushed to hospital wondering if I was going to lose my eye," he wrote.
"The surgeon said if the glass had struck millimetres to the left I would have lost sight in my eye. I still don't have full use of it.
"It affects my ability to do everyday things, I have issues with memory loss and I'm constantly reminded of it every time I look in the mirror.
"This was a senseless act that should never have happened and now I have to live with the ramifications for the rest of my life."
Meanwhile, defence lawyer Patrick Schmidt told the court Mortlock had not instigated the initial fight and her actions had been "opportunistic".
"She was extremely reckless given the circumstances but there was no planning," he said.
The court heard Mortlock had aspirations to study public health at Wollongong university. He said she had had sanctions put on her in her current work at Wollongong Hospital pending the outcome of the court proceedings.
Mr Schmidt urged the court to spare Mortlock full time jail and instead give her a lengthy intensive corrections order.
Magistrate Clisdell said he was satisfied Mortlock was remorseful and her actions had been out of character but refused to release her back into the community.
"The position here is Ms Mortlock has committed a very serious offence," he said.
"The injury to the victim is substantial. Nothing in [Terry Jnr's] behaviour that night in pushing Quirk could excuse what followed."
Mortlock was sentenced to 14 months jail, with a 6-month non-parole period.
She immediately lodged a severity appeal and applied for release on bail until the appeal hearing, however Magistrate Clisdell refused the application, saying he believed Mortlock's chances of getting a reduction in her sentence was "grim".