A soldier accused of a horrific glass attack on a comrade could be tried for attempted homicide.
Sydney Cole, 20, will face a Spanish court and a possible 10-year jail sentence – despite the Army allowing her to remain on duty after a bust-up in a Majorca club.
Lance Corporal Sarah Ann Garrity lost four pints of blood when her throat was cut, leaving her in intensive care.
And her life was only saved because a quick-thinking rugby player stemmed the flow of blood gushing from her neck.
Today, Sarah’s family tell how she refused to press charges against former pal Cole.
But the 23-year-old was stunned when her Royal Logistics Corps friend did not apologise – and infuriated that the Army let Private Cole stay on the same base for 11 months afterwards.
“She’s even been expected to stand on parade with her,” a family member said. “We are not happy. It’s as if the Army wanted to brush it under the carpet.”
The alleged attack at an all-you-can-drink foam party came after a 14-hour binge in the party capital during leave in April last year.
The pair were sharing a hotel room with another female soldier and drank all day before the incident at the Bananas Club.
Cole was arrested and held on remand for two days before being released to go home.
Sarah needed 14 stitches in her neck after the brawl. Her lung had collapsed and only the quick actions of the rugby player saved her.
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.
“She expected her to be full of remorse but she didn’t even get an apology. When she returned to work three months later, Cole was still on the base.
“Sarah asked bosses if Cole could be moved, but was told to get on with it. Now she feels betrayed.”
Cole only left Fort George barracks, near Inverness, when she was given an Army house after having a baby.
It is now understood a Spanish investigating magistrate has ruled she should stand trial for attempted homicide – which is normally punishable by a jail term of 10 to 15 years.
A legal source said: “The next step would be for Cole to be questioned under oath.”
She may have to give a new police statement via video due to Covid-19 travel restrictions – and be called back to Spain to face trial.
The Army is believed to have taken “administrative action” against Cole which can include a verbal warning.
It could still take further action once the civil investigation is complete.
The Army has long come under fire over drink problems. Last month, figures showed one in 200 troops were listed as abusing alcohol.
Experts blame boredom and a lack of action. UK armed forces are three times more likely to drink heavily than the general public, MoD figures revealed.
A family member of Sarah’s in Irvine, Ayrshire, said: “We don’t feel the Army has looked after our girl.
“She was off work three months and in all that time just one officer came out to see her. Cole has tried to make out that she and Sarah were best buddies but that’s not true.”
An Army spokesman said: “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. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”