Model fined for driving without licence
By Niamh Anderson
Blone Jo Minto took the vehicle without the owner’s permission from outside her home and went on a 15-mile joyride, a court heard.
Minto, 23, who recovered from horrific injuries suffered after a thug hurled a tumbler in her face, was also driving without insurance in June this year.
At Edinburgh Sheriff Court this week she was fined a total of £400 and had eight penalty points put on her licence.
Three years ago, Minto, from Livingston, West Lothian, was working as a model for top designer labels when she was accidentally hit in the face with a glass in a pub.
Surgeons worked for days to remove shards of glass but Minto, who was temporarily blinded in one eye, bravely battled her way back to modelling.
But Minto has now fallen from grace after failing to resist the temptation to drive on June 30.
Her escapade ended in Edinburgh when she was pulled over by police who discovered the former Diesel model had no driving licence, insurance, or permission to take the car.
At the city’s sheriff court on Wednesday, Minto plead guilty by letter and was fined £200 for taking the car and £200 for having no insurance.
Sheriff Douglas Allan also admonished her for driving without a license and gave her eight penalty points on her license.
Minto was horrifically injured by pub yob Alexander Varndell, who accidentally smashed Minto in the face with a glass tumbler during a wake at the New Plough Inn in Tranent, East Lothian.
The glass was aimed at a Welsh rugby fan who had been seen speaking to 21-year-old Varndell’s girlfriend.
Minto, who had recently returned from a photoshoot with prestigious London designer label, Diesel, needed 35 stitches.
It took medics at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary four days to prise all the shards of glass from her face and the model was too scared to see what she looked like.
Minto said previously: “I didn’t look in the mirror for ages. I couldn’t bring myself to. But then one day I caught sight of myself.
“I just burst into tears. I had hardly cried at all throughout it- maybe I was bottling it all up. But seeing how injured I was…it just came out.
“It dawned on me that I could be a scarred monster for the rest of my life.”
Minto believed her catwalk career was over but last year decided to try again after undergoing plastic surgery at St John’s Hospital, Livingston.
The plastic surgery restored the young model’s confidence and she decided to return to modelling.
She said: “I thought, ‘Stuff it, give it another go and get back into it.’ The work has been flooding in.
“It has given me a real confidence boost to see that people want to work with me again. Everything has spiralled from there.”
For two years, the model’s left eye has also been severely impaired.
A shard of glass pierced her cornea and if it had gone deeper she would have had to wear a glass eye.
But her eyesight began to heal at the end of last year and is now fully restored.
The defiant model, said: “I feel that I have my dream back again.
Alexander Varndell admitted culpable and reckless conduct when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in August 2007 and was later sentenced to two years in jail.
He was released on an electronic tag after serving nine months of his sentence.
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