A DENTAL patient has narrowly avoided prison after she stabbed a dental worker in the eye with a pen when the surgery refused to treat her.

Hayley Ross was told she was “very lucky” she had not blinded Pauline Khanna when she picked up the pen and used it as a weapon to plunge it into her victim's left eye.

Southampton Crown Court also heard that as she was thrown out of the Thornhill Dental Practice the 35-year-old shouted at her victim “you’re lucky you’re not dead” and racially abused her dentist husband.

Prosecutor Tim Compton told the court Ross had made an emergency appointment through the NHS 111 system for 2pm at the Thornhill practice on March 6.

When Mrs Khanna, an administrator at the practice where her husband is a dentist, saw her name on the appointment list, they called the service to cancel the booking due to previous incidents involving Ross.

A voicemail was left on Ross’ phone but she claims she never got it and turned up for the appointment.

When Mrs Khanna explained the appointment had been cancelled Ross became aggressive before picking up a pen from the desk and stabbing it into her eye.

Hearing the commotion, Mr Khanna came out and asked Ross to leave.

Ross, of Tunstall Road, Thornhill, told Mrs Khanna she was lucky she wasn’t dead before being racially abusive to Mr Khanna.

Fortunately Mrs Khanna, a mum-of-three, suffered minor injuries to her eye, including brushing and swelling to the eyelid.

In her victim impact statement though, which was read out to court, she explained how she was too afraid to leave the house for a week after the attack, adding: “Since the incident I am afraid to go back to the surgery through fear of seeing the person who attacked me.”

Defending Ross, Mr David Reid told the court that she had picked up the pen to take down Mrs Khanna’s details but a “flash of temper” overtook her.

He added Ross, who pleaded guilty, had some mental health issues and if she was sent to prison she would likely be evicted from her home.

Judge Gary Burrell QC sentenced Ross to a total of 12 months in prison suspended for two years. He also ordered her to pay £750 compensation to Mrs Khanna and £100 victim surcharge.

Judge Burrell said: “You could easily have blinded her in one eye.

“You have been very lucky that the lady had not sustained a more serious injury to her eye.”