Man's ear lobe bitten off in Plymouth nightclub
A Plymouth man with a binge-drinking problem bear-hugged a stranger in a city nightclub and bit off part of his ear, a court heard.
Angelo Crowe then walked off, but returned and told his bleeding victim: "Sorry, I thought you were someone else."
Victim Steve Haywood had to undergo plastic surgery because the ear-lobe could not be stitched back.
Crown Prosecution Service prosecutor Alistair Verheijen told Plymouth Crown Court that Mr Haywood was out for the evening with friends on May 2 last year and they ended up in Oceana nightclub.
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Mr Haywood and a friend approached the DJ booth to request a record when Crowe walked up, put his arms around him and leaned over as if to whisper in his ear.
He then pulled away and walked off.
Mr Haywood felt something cold and wet on his ear, then the DJ told him he had been injured and he realised it was blood.
Part of his left ear about 1.5cm by 1cm had been bitten off, and blood was streaming down his neck.
Crowe was identified by a doorman who knew him.
Mr Haywood was taken to Derriford Hospital, where he was given intravenous antibiotics, kept in overnight and later underwent plastic surgery.
Crowe was arrested but made no comment, and tests on a jumper revealed his saliva and Mr Haywood's blood.
Crowe then pleaded guilty at a preliminary hearing to assault causing grievous bodily harm.
Mr Verheijen revealed that in May 2008, Crowe was jailed for 10 months for sexual assault in the same club.
He was also given a five-year Asbo, but this was later quashed by the Court of Appeal.
Jason Beal, for Crowe, said his client struggled with binge drinking and would welcome a drinking banning order.
He said the attack was brief and contributed to by his drunkenness and boisterous behaviour with his friends.
Mr Beal said Crowe's problems came about when he was injured and unable to train or box.
He went out with friends, drank to excess and had been in a downward spiral since, he said.
He may have given a bad impression in his Probation Service interview because his partner, who is due to give birth to their first child in July, was in hospital with suspected meningitis.
Judge Erik Salomonsen told Crowe that Mr Haywood was a wholly innocent victim and there had been no provocation.
The offence was aggravated by being at night, in a club, while in drink and by a man with previous convictions, and the fact that Mr Haywood had suffered ongoing effects.
He said the Probation report described him as "callous in nature" and said he had shown no remorse.
Judge Salomonsen added: "You don't appear to appreciate how serious this is.
"You feel your rights are of a higher value than others."
He jailed Crowe, aged 22 and of Embankment Road, Prince Rock, for 15 months and imposed a two-year drinking banning order covering the city centre, Barbican and Coxside areas.
Crowe was formally acquitted of an alternative charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, which he had denied.