An unsuspecting groom nearly lost an eye after being struck with a glass during a quiet pub quiz the night before his wedding day. But still got to the church on time.
Scott Richards, 31, required over 14 stitches — and was almost forced to call off the big day — after medics warned he might need an eye removed, and that he would definitely be scarred for life.
His devastated bride Adele, 34, from Kent, England, saw her groom’s mangled face for the first time as she walked down the aisle after only being informed of the attack just hours before.
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The attacker, 28-year-old Tyler Plumridge, who flung the glass into Scott’s face at Singleton Barn in Ashford, in Kent, was spared jail. A stranger, Plumridge lashed out after having joined Scott’s group at the quiet Sunday night pub quiz when he was caught stealing a wallet and a phone.
He was asked to hand the stuff back and to leave the pub but instead stripped to his pants before throwing a pint glass into Scott’s face.
The couple claims that their nearly-$23,000 wedding day, for which they’d been saving for two years, was “almost totally ruined” by Plumridge’s actions.
“I still have nightmares about it now, where I wake up in a cold sweat and can’t get back to sleep,” Scott said.
“The flashbacks are terrible. The whole incident was just so out of the blue, we’d only gone out for a few quiet drinks, but as soon as he threw the glass at my face there was blood everywhere.”
“I had to be rushed to [the emergency room] straight away where they spent hours picking glass from my eyeball.”
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Scott said doctors thought they may have to remove the eye altogether, and said he may even have to miss his own wedding.
“My wife, Adele, who I wasn’t meant to be speaking to, as it was technically our wedding day, was devastated when I called to tell her. The whole day was really hard as a result because I had a banging headache, I was in so much pain and looked a right state for the pictures.
“I was bruised, bandaged up and scarred — our 2-year-old son was clearly worried when he saw me looking all mangled up and kept asking if I’d ‘fallen over.’ Thankfully the photographer was clever with the pics and we got some decent ones where I look OK, but it really was a nightmare.”
The wedding, which took place at Cooling Castle Barn, did eventually go ahead despite the incident, but the couple feel that their enjoyment of the special day was severely tainted by what happened. Both Adele and Scott, who have been together for five years, feel severely let down by what they feel is a very lenient sentence considering Scott’s injuries.
Plumridge was handed a suspended sentence, pleading guilty to assault charges of “grievous bodily harm.” He was spared jail, but was ordered to pay Scott 1,000 pounds (around $1,270) in compensation within three months.
“I’m absolutely fuming about the sentence,” said Adele, who works in marketing. “This vile man almost ruined the most important day of our lives, never mind the health repercussions for Scott. I’m 100-percent sure that Plumridge knew that Scott was the groom and must have had some idea of what he was doing when he smashed that glass into my husband’s face.”
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Adele admitted that Scott put on a brave face for the big day, but said it was “clear” he was out of sorts.
‘When I first saw him as I walked up the aisle, my stomach lurched, I thought I might be sick… I just couldn’t bear to see how bad the damage was. He looked dreadful, despite my makeup artist having a go at disguising some of the bruising.
“He was popping pain medication all day and had a banging headache throughout. Our son was scared to even look at his own dad and kept asking me, ‘What happened to Daddy?'”
Adele confirmed that Scott indeed hid news of his injury until early on the morning of their wedding, which he wasn’t even able to rest up for.
“He didn’t want to worry me about the attack and so didn’t ring me until 6 a.m. on the morning of the wedding. I was shaking like a leaf after his sister told me in tears that I needed to ring Scott. For one dreadful moment, I thought I was getting stood up!
“We did discuss canceling the whole thing but in the end decided not to.”
Adele revealed that both she and Scott were late to their own ceremony because of the accident.
“After I’d spoken to Scott, I just sat in my car and cried hysterically for 45 minutes, I couldn’t believe it had all gone so wrong. Scott was late too as he couldn’t even shower, his brother had to wash all the glass and blood out of his hair by hand.”
The newlyweds were forced to spend their first week as man and wife driving back and forth from William Harvey Hospital, in Ashford, and s specialist eye hospital, The Royal Victoria Hospital, in Folkestone.
“We were supposed to be in a happy newlywed bubble, but instead I was spending my entire time rubbing different creams into Scott’s injuries and taking him to appointments. At one point they were even worried he might not recover his sight in the left eye at all,” she said.
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“He was still not completely well by the time we went on honeymoon to the Dominican Republic two weeks later. He had to lie down a lot due to the migraines,” she said.
“Some of the scar’s Scott has will never go [away] now, the one on his nose is bright red like a burn, the skin is all crinkly. ‘But it’s not just the physical side of things, Scott definitely isn’t the same carefree person he was before the attack, he’s much more wary and anxious now and gets uncomfortable in busy, loud places.
“He used to be the most chilled guy beforehand, and now he’s lost that,” Adele said. “He’s in a permanent state of high alert, it’s so sad to see how much it’s affected him.”