A violent thug who bit off part of his girlfriend’s former partner’s ear then bragged about it has been caged.
Liam Thornton, 24, kept encountering Kieran Swan during a night out before launching the horrifying attack in a nightclub.
Prosecutor, Michael Bunch, said: “The defendant had been staring at him during the meal.”
Chronicle Live reports that they then encountered each other in a pub in Blyth and Mr Bunch said: “The defendant spoke to Mr Swan and suggested he was jealous of his relationship with his ex partner. He said he didn’t want trouble and walked away. The defendant and his friend laughed at him.”
Mr Swan and his group then went to the Dejavu nightclub in the town, where he again encountered Thornton. Mr Bunch said: “He was again aware of the defendant laughing at him and the defendant shouted something at him.
“He then felt him grab him and thought he was going to speak to him but instead he bit his left ear, clamping on for some seconds.” Mr Swan was taken to hospital and was found to have lost an outer portion of his ear and some of the cartilage. He had surgery but was not happy with the outcome and is self-conscious about how it looks.
When interviewed by police, Thornton claimed Mr Swan had been provocative to him and said he had “seen red” and went for him. But an examination of his mobile phone showed he had revelled in what he had done afterwards.
Sentencing him, Judge Penny Moreland said: “There was clearly some ill-feeling between you as your paths crossed in an Italian restaurant, in a pub and in a nightclub. You say you thought Mr Swan was being disrespectful towards you.
“There was no excuse for what you went on to do, which was to grab him and bite his ear. You boasted later how you chewed his ear off and you had left him scarred for life. At least shortly afterwards, you were pleased with what you had done and proud of it
“He was left with a permanent irreversible injury.” Thornton, 24, of Bowes Court, Blyth, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and was jailed for 27 months and given a five-year restraining order.
Richard Bloomfield, defending, said: “He misread the situation. He doesn’t accept he was staring at him. He felt, wrongly, Mr Swan had been disrespectful to him.
“He is in work, in a responsible position and he has a health difficulty which may make his experience in custody more difficult.”
Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – Sign up to our daily newsletter here.