A British soldier accused of throwing glass at army friend’s neck causing her lose four pints of blood could be tried for attempted homicide – and faces up to 15 years in jail.
Sydney Cole, 20, allegedly cut her best friend 23-year-old Sarah Ann Garrity’s throat at Banana’s nightclub in Magaluf in April last year.
Cole was able to remain in the army after it took ‘administrative action’ – which can include a verbal warning – against her, reports claim.
Miss Garrity opted not to press charges against her friend at the time.
It was initially unclear whether state prosecutors would press ahead with their own prosecution.
But now, a magistrate in Spain said Cole should face attempted homicide charges, The Mirror reports. If found guilty, she could face between 10 and 15 years in jail.
Once the civil investigation is complete the Army can still choose to proceed with a different course of action against her.
Sydney Cole, 20, (left) allegedly cut her best friend 23-year-old Sarah Ann Garrity’s (right) throat at Banana’s nightclub in Magaluf in April last year
Cole (right, pictured with Ms Garrity) was able to remain in the army after it took ‘administrative action’ – which can include a verbal warning – against her, reports claim
In the April 2019 attack, Ms Garrity was glassed, allegedly, after intervening in a row between Cole and a third servicewoman — Deborah Ferguson — outside the Bananas club on Magaluf’s infamous Punta Ballena strip.
Moments later, panic-stricken screams filled the Spanish night air and witnesses told of blood pouring from Miss Garrity’s neck.
She lost four pints of blood and needed 14 stitches in the incident but survived thanks to a rugby player who stemmed the bleeding. She also suffered a collapsed lung.
A source said: ‘Sarah told the police not to charge Cole because she didn’t want to see a young girl banged up in a jail abroad.
The source said Ms Garrity felt betrayed after army bosses refused to transfer Cole to elsewhere – after the pair were still made to go on parade together.
They accused the Army of wanting to ‘brush it under the carpet’.
Now, a magistrate in Spain said Cole should face attempted homicide charges, The Mirror reports. If found guilty, she could face between 10 and 15 years in jail
Cole has since had a baby and been transferred away.
Last year, Cole told the judge who remanded her in prison during a court appearance that Ms Garrity was injured by accident in a row which started when her friend tried to intervene in a problem between her and Deborah Ferguson.
She told the court in Palma through an interpreter in a hearing which took place behind closed doors: ‘It was all an accident. She is my best friend and I didn’t want to hurt her.’
Revealing the women started a marathon drinking session that began at 11am, around 14 hours before Sarah was rushed to hospital for a life-saving op, she added: ‘We had been drinking all day and were both very drunk when it happened.
‘We started drinking about 11am in our hotel and had some more drinks on the beach and then we went to an event with a free bar and we all drank a lot.
‘The event was held in different places and Banana’s was one of those. I drank shots, vodka, gin, amaretto, shots with different alcohol in it.
‘Sarah and Debbie were with me.
‘I’ve been friends with Sarah for about a year and we’ve worked together in the army. She’s a higher rank than me.
‘Debbie and I weren’t talking and Sarah tried to intervene to resolve the situation and that’s why we rowed.
‘Sarah punched me in the face and I pulled her hair and then threw a glass on the floor.’
Asked how it was possible her army friend had ended up with a neck injury said to have led to her needing 14 stitches after she lost a large amount of blood, Cole told the court: ‘The glass broke on the floor and one of the shards must have cut her.’
She also refuted claims by two witnesses who insisted she had thrown the glass directly at Sarah and not on the floor.
She said she had suffered an injury to her nose when she was allegedly punched in the face by her friend, but admitted she had not gone to see a doctor.
An Army spokesman said: ‘We can confirm an investigation is ongoing following an incident with a British soldier in Spain last year.
‘We take our duty of care to personnel very seriously and a dedicated welfare officer is always appointed to ensure pastoral support is provided to those who need it.
‘While this matter is under investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.’