Eliza Peereboom, 23, (pictured) dramatically sacked her barrister today when she appeared for sentencing over a leg biting incident on a train from Newbury on August 18 last year
An actress and model who bit a female train passenger in an ‘animalistic’ rage sacked her own barrister today after he said she looked ‘a million dollars’.
Eliza Peereboom, 23, had been travelling home from celebrating at Newbury racecourse on August 18 last year when she bit the leg of another passenger – causing a permanent scar and leaving her needing tetanus jabs.
During the fight, she pulled the hair of Ciara Jones and her friend Nicole Deadfield and bit the leg of Gabriella Marabet.
When she appeared for sentencing at Reading Crown Court, she dramatically sacked her barrister Thomas Quinton after she took exception to how he referred to her in court.
Peereboom had arrived at the dock looking like ‘a million dollars’ according to Mr Quinton who attempted to paint a picture of the defendant as buying her clothes from Primark and ‘wearing £2 sunglasses.’
He told Judge Sarah Campbell: ‘She is doing the best she can to feel some value, that has been her focus.’
But after a pause in proceedings to allow Mr Quinton to take instructions from Peereboom, he re-entered announcing to the court that Peereboom was not speaking to him.
‘The defendant is very unhappy with what I have said in court so Miss Kate Parker will be defending her from now on. The defendant is not talking to me, she is talking directly to the Probation service,’ he added.
At an earlier hearing, the court had heard details of the leg biting incident – which occurred as the train pulled into Reading train station and an affray began between Peereboom, Jones and Deadfield.
Eliza Peereboom (pictured) had been travelling home from celebrating at Newbury racecourse when she bit the leg of another passenger – causing a permanent scar and leaving her needing tetanus jabs
Ms Marabet, who was bitten, said: ‘I was tired after a long day of dancing and chatting and slept on the train ride to Reading station where we were set to change for Oxford.
‘I went to swerve around a commotion in the alley when my hair was violently pulled forwards from the chair. I kicked out and my leg was grabbed by the same girl who had my hair.
‘I was bitten just above the knee which felt like for ages but it was about 15 seconds long. I screamed and was escorted off the train and she was kept on it.’
The jury at Reading Crown court were show 23 minutes of CCTV footage which caught the fracas.
It was also shown pictures taken by Ms Marabet of her bite injury the day after the incident.
She said: ‘I had a bite mark and a sore head from where my hair was pulled. I went to the doctors and I had to receive a Tetanus jab once a month for three months and a course of antibiotics.
‘I have a scar now. I have just got back from holiday and it looks worse now as the skin around it is darker.’
Peereboom currently resides with family friends in Amsterdam, and questions were raised in court today over how she might come back to carry out unpaid work as part of her sentence
A judge at Reading Crown Court said she was going to defer sentencing for two months while Peereboom could either find a place to live in the UK to undertake her unpaid work or get herself a job to pay compensation
The court also heard today – when Mr Quinton was still representing Peereboom – that the Dutch-born model and actress currently resides with family friends in Amsterdam.
This caused difficulties for the Probation Service as she would be required to undertake seven hours of unpaid work a week, meaning Peereboom would have to return to the UK every weekend.
Mr Quinton said: ‘The defendant’s understanding of an overnight coach to the UK every weekend to do the hours was that she does not need to spend any money other than the £8 coach fare – there seems to be a lack of understanding of the practicalities.’
After the change of barristers, Judge Campbell said: ‘I feel I am left with not many options. You are 23 years of age and you were found guilty of assault by beating and causing actual bodily harm while on a busy train, which in my view, was deeply unpleasant and animalistic.
‘Your sarcastic demeanour could be seen on the CCTV footage as you pulled a victim’s hair hard and removed it from her head in clumps.
‘What ensued can only be described as a scrum and you lost control of yourself. Miss Marabet was trying to get past you when her leg was bitten causing a permanent scar and needing tetanus jabs.’
The judge added that Peereboom’s previous warning in 2011 for biting a police officer when she was 15 years old and her difficult upbringing, having been put in care at the age of 14, had to be taken into consideration.
She suggested that under the exceptional circumstances, she was going to defer sentencing for two months while Peereboom could either find a place to live in the UK to undertake her unpaid work or get herself a job to pay compensation.