As groom Scott Richards turned to see his bride walk up the aisle he was terrified – not with nerves, but by how she would react to his poor lacerated face.
For the night before his big day he was brutally GLASSED.
The former policeman was attacked during a quiet pub quiz with some friends.
He had 14 stitches in his nose to sew back a flap of skin that was hanging off.
Some shards had gone in his eyes – leaving him blinded. Surgeons also plucked more pieces of glass out his forehead.
Scott, 31, will never forget the words his new wife Adele said after seeing his injuries for the first time at the altar.
“She was crying,” he said. “But she told me she was glad I was here and that she was marrying me for who I am as a person – not for my looks. That brought another lump to my throat.”
Tears flowed as the couple embraced in front of guests, including their son Oscar, two.
And although the wedding was a success, Scott admits it will be tarnished for ever.
He said: “It’s meant to be the best day of your life but when I look back I’ll always remember I got glassed the night before.
Scott was with friends at the Singleton Barn pub in Ashford, Kent, when drunken Tyler Plumridge, 28, a security guard, stumbled in at around 9pm.
He had drunk two bottles of wine and cans of lager at home before heading to the pub to down another bottle. Slurring, he asked to join their table. For a quiet life, they agreed.
But when Scott’s brother Mark, 34, went to the bar, Plumridge sneakily took his phone and wallet and tried to leave. Scott stopped him, asking him to empty his pockets.
Instead, Plumridge stripped to his boxers and danced around the bar – before grabbing a pint glass and smashing it into Scott’s face.
He recalled: “All I could see was blood. I collapsed to the floor.”
“As my friends tried to stem the blood, they said, ‘It’s not too bad.’ But I looked at my brother and could see in his face how bad it was.
“He was in floods of tears and told me my nose was half hanging off and I had glass in my eye.”
“I was crying. All I could think was, ‘I’m not getting married. I’ve ruined it all.’
“Adele and I had been saving for two years and I thought it was all ruined in a moment. I was a police officer in London for eight years and never got assaulted. But this happened to me in my local.”
Scott, who became a carpenter after leaving the force, was rushed to A&E where surgeons worked into the small hours to remove the glass and try to save his sight.
“All I could hear was ‘plunk, plunk’ as they pulled out the shards from my forehead and my face,” said Scott, who has permanent nerve damage. “They filled up a tray with all the glass.
“When I looked in the mirror I saw Freddy Krueger.
“I was thinking it’s all over. I’d lost my eyesight, ruined my wedding. My career was gone.”
He broke the news to Adele in an emotional phone call and asked if she wanted to call off the £18,000 ceremony at Cooling Castle Barn, Rochester. But though devastated, Adele said it should go ahead.
Pumped full of painkillers, Scott got out of hospital at 6am on the morning of his wedding.
His brother washed the caked-in blood from his hair. And the make-up artist hired for bride Adele was asked to help cover Scott’s scars. “Her mouth dropped when she saw me,” said Scott.
“She promised to do the best she could but said that we’d still see it. She spent an hour working on me – probably more than she spent on Adele on her special day, which was bad.”
The newlyweds spent the first weeks of their marriage shuttling between the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, and eye specialists at Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone.
Two weeks later Scott’s sight was restored and they headed to the Dominican Republic on honeymoon.
Adele, 34, who works in marketing, said: “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.
"Scott was forced to put a brave face on it for our wedding day but it was clear he wasn’t himself.
“He 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.”
Scott was too upset to be in court when his attacker was sentenced this month.
Plumridge, said to be “deeply remorseful” – got a 12-month suspended sentence at Canterbury crown court after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm.
He was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid community work, to get help for alcohol abuse and pay Scott £1,000 compensation.
But the lenient sentence shocked Scott. “I didn’t want to see him or come face to face with him in court, it made me feel uneasy,” he admitted.
“But what I do know is his sentence was a joke. The judge told him he would give him a second chance.
“But Adele and I don’t get a second chance at doing our wedding or honeymoon again.
“I still have nightmares about it now where I wake up in a cold sweat. The flashbacks are terrible.
“My day of happiness is ruined but he gets to walk free. I have to live with lifelong scarring but he gets a second chance?
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