Female Brit soldier dodges jail after attacking pal with bottle in Magaluf bar

A female British soldier charged over a glass bottle attack in a Magaluf nightclub has dodged jail and instead been slapped with a £780 fine.

The incident left 24-year-old Sydney Cole's pal Lance Corporal Sarah Garrity in intensive care after losing four pints of blood and needing 14 stitches to a neck wound. Despite the severity of the attack, Cole, who was serving in the Adjutant General's Corps based at Fort George Barracks in Inverness at the time, managed to avoid prison after confessing to hurting Sarah as part of a plea bargain deal.

Speaking through a translator at the Provincial Court of Palma in Majorca, she admitted her wrongdoing and accepted the agreement. Cole was allowed to appear via video link rather than having to travel to the island for the brief half-hour hearing.

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After the hearing, Cole's lawyer Gloria Olmos said: "I'm happy with the way this case has been resolved and Sydney is very happy obviously not to be going to prison. A fine is the lowest punishment she could have got and if this had gone to a full trial she would have been looking at a possible three-year prison sentence if convicted."

Ayrshire-born Sarah, who was serving in the Royal Logistics Corps when she was critically injured, triggered the early release of Cole from prison days after her April 2019 arrest and prevented her friend from being remanded in custody after telling police and court officials she did not want to press charges.

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Prosecutors decided to continue trying to build a case against the accused woman after witnesses told police the attacker threw a glass directly at Sarah's neck during a row at Magaluf's Banana's nightclub following an all-day drinking session. Cole insisted after her arrest her holiday pal was hurt in an accident when she threw the glass on the floor during the fight with her and shards from it hit Sarah in the neck.

An international arrest warrant was issued for Cole after failed attempts to inform her about a new questioning under oath during the judicial investigation, which was slowed by the Covid pandemic. The arrest warrant was withdrawn after she hired a new lawyer who arranged her court appearance in Palma earlier this year to answer fresh questions about the attack.

Cole has been told to pay her fine at the rate of £5 a day over six months, totaling £780.

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