Amy Hallam, 27, needed 20 stitches after she was assaulted at random in a busy bar by ‘misogynist’ chartered accountant Khalil Bangi, 32, in Manchester
Image: Amy Hallam/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)
A model was forced to give up her dream career after being scarred for life by a stranger who smashed a pint glass in her face – simply because she was a woman.
Amy Hallam, 27, needed 20 stitches after she was assaulted at random in a busy bar by ”misogynist” chartered accountant Khalil Bangi, 32.
Initially, Bangi aggressively blocked Miss Hallam’s path to stop her walking past him before he squared up to her while shouting abuse.
Miss Hallam instinctively slapped him in the hope he would leave her alone, but Bangi slapped her back with such force she nearly toppled over.
Then as the bar manager intervened he hurled a pint glass at the victim from just four feet away, causing it to smash above her left eye.
Miss Hallam who worked for a model agency in Manchester, had to be admitted to hospital with blood pouring from her wounds with doctors discovering her eyebrow had been left split in two.
Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd.
She has since tried to attend modeling photoshoots after undergoing treatment but has had to pull out due to panic attacks over her scar.
At Manchester Crown Court, Miss Hallam burst into tears whilst bravely reliving her ordeal as Bangi, who lives in a £700,000 barn conversion in Bilsborrow, Preston, Lancs was jailed for 16 months after he admitted causing grievous bodily harm.
”You senseless act of violence will continue to have an impact on me for the rest of my life,” said Miss Hallam who has had therapy for anxiety and PTSD and hyper-vigilance since the attack.
”Until that night I had never experienced what it felt like to be truly helpless. You were staring me straight in the eye and I remember exactly how you looked with your arm raised above your head and in one sharp moment my perception of life was altered forever.
”I thought I was going to be left blind as I felt blood pouring down my face. I had never been so scared in all my life. My skin was split to the bone and my eyebrow separated in half and was no longer aligned.
”I asked the police if the defendant felt bad but was told he tried to run away and he seemed unbothered and calm. It is incomprehensible that he could throw a glass into a young woman’s face which could leave her blind brain damaged or even dead-then be so calm and not bothered.
Amy Hallam/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)
She added: ”The assault has left me with physical and mental scars, I cried every day for months after what happened thinking my life was over. I didn’t sleep as every time I shut my eyes I replayed the attack in my head. I still have nightmares now, waking up sweating in distress. It’s the same theme, me being followed through crowds of people by a man I don’t know.
”I will never look the same as I used to do – that face has gone forever because of you. I am reminded of it every day I look in the mirror. I can never escape it. The assault has impacted my modeling career, the scar on my face has massively knocked my confidence to stand in front of a camera, I am extremely self-conscious now.
”I’ve tried to ease my way back into modeling but I had debilitating panic attacks which made me unable to attend photoshoots. I haven’t made the attempt to model since.
”I’m now battling with the consequences of what you did on a daily basis – just because I ignored your aggressive advances and then defended myself when I was in fear for my safety when you followed threatened and spat abusive names just centimeters from my face.
”I never said a single word to you. I didn’t even know you. Yet you chose to be the aggressor and you chose to lunge at me out of nowhere. You made all those choices and I’ve been tormented as to the reasons why – when there are none.
”Violence by men against women is played out too many times and the sort of person who can throw a glass at a woman’s face just because she made a rightful choice is not the sort of person to be safe to walk in society. ”
The incident occurred on March 6 2020 just weeks before the first UK lockdown when Miss Hallam went to Albert Schloss bar in Manchester city center with a friend.
William Staunton prosecuting said: ”They were enjoying a pleasant evening when the defendant confronted Amy as she walked past.
”He was not part of a group and was drinking alone, he was seen to point at her face and she tried to walk past him but he kept blocking her path, he was being very aggressive and was continually shouting at her, demanding her yam. The friend saw this and noticed the defendant being ‘all creepy.’ The friend politely asked him to stop but he did not.
”The bar manager collects talking to Amy and she was saying: ”How crazy is the crowd tonight?’ but at that stage the defendant then leant over towards Amy and got in her face from her. He was very aggressive and was shouting: ‘you f***king slut.’ The language he used demonstrated a hostility based on her being woman as it was so obviously misogynistic.
”She was fearful and shocked and she slapped him but the defendant slapped her back with such force it nearly knocked over off her feet. The bar manager intervened to protect Amy but the defendant raised his hand and threw a glass he was holding into Amy’s face at close range.
”Amy described the impact as extremely hard. She never felt so much pain and was in extreme shock. Police called to the bar noted her extreme distress from her.”
Bangi was detained by staff before being arrested. He later gave a prepared statement in which he denied throwing the glass and claimed Miss Hallam had been aggressive towards him.
In mitigation defense counsel Nicholas Lumley said his client had been drinking excessively on the evening and added: ”He is genuinely remorseful and is distraught at what he did to Miss Hallam.
”He has attended courses to improve his behavior and is doing what he can to prevent this happening ever again to any person. This incident aside, he is a model member of society.”
Sentencing the judge Mr Recorder Michael Armstrong told Bangi: ”I have no doubt this offense had misogynistic characteristics to it. Miss Hallam wanted nothing to do with you- but that night you were not a reasonable person.
”You persisted with your aggressive behavior and ultimately acted in an utterly despicable manner towards this innocent young lady. Your behavior that night is in complete contrast to the bravery shown by Miss Hallam in coming to court and reading her statement from her.”
Bangi was also ordered to pay Miss Hallam £2,500 compensation and was banned from contacting her for five years under the terms of a restraining order.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.