Victim was simply going about his business in Catterick when he was set upon by drunken youth

The Northern Echo: Teesside Crown Court Teesside Crown Court

A WORKMAN had part of his ear bitten off during a confrontation in the street with a drunken yob, a court heard.

The daylight attack had left the man, a self-employed joiner, permanently disfigured as surgeons had been unable to properly re-attach the missing part of the ear.

Prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, Kate Dodds said the assailant, a 17-year-old youth, had made a gun-type gesture at the victim as he drove with colleagues to collect some tools from a job on a housing estate in Catterick, North Yorkshire, on October 11 last year.

He then aimed a kick at the man's van, causing him to slam on the brakes and get out of the vehicle to confront the teenager, who admitted an offence of wounding.

Ms Dodds said the youth punched the victim in the face. The teenager was then grabbed in a headlock, but broke free. The workman then realised something was clamped onto his ear and there was blood running down his face.

He managed to get back into his van and drove off. Paramedics later returned to the scene of the attack, Constantine Avenue, to collect the missing part of the ear.

The youth was arrested and claimed the victim had stolen something from him, although there was no evidence to suggest he had, said Ms Dodds.

He was said to have told police: “If he steals from me again I will bite his other ear off.”

The court was told that the defendant, along with two others, had drunk a litre of vodka and a litre of the strong spirit Jagermeister on the day of the attack.

He also had previous convictions for violence, including assault occasioning actual bodily harm and battery and had been made subject to a conditional discharge prior to the attack.

Adrian Dent, mitigating, said the youth had not had a settled upbringing, moving from place to place as his former step father was employed in the Army.

Mr Dent said he apologised for the attack with the barrister describing his behaviour as “quite disgraceful” and “rather bizarre”.

Recorder Felicity Davies, who ruled an order barring identification of the youth must remain in place, said she took into account the seriousness of the offence and the long-term consequences on the victim.

The judge jailed the defendant for 18 months.

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