A DRUNKEN teenager bit another pub-goer in a sustained attack during an early hours’ commotion outside a night spot, a court was told
Bare-chested Lewis Gash sank his teeth into the other man’s lower jaw and refused to release his grip amidst the skirmish at a taxi rank outside DL5, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
It was only after the intervention of others, who eventually managed to pull Gash away, that the “horrendous” attack ended.
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Durham Crown Court heard that the victim recalled feeling skin on his face pulling each time he tried to get away, and estimated the sustained attack must have lasted more than a minute.
Paul Currer, prosecuting, told the court that it has had a “significant” effect on the victim, who has been left permanently scarred.
The court was told that he had been pulling a friend away from a confrontation with doormen when approached and attacked by the defendant.
Gash, who was arrested nearby, required hospital treatment himself and told a policewoman accompanying him that he had been set upon by up to a dozen people, so he bit someone who he did not know.
But, when formally interviewed, he said nothing in response to police questions about events in the early hours of August 26 last year.
Gash, then 18, now aged 19, of Callerton Rise, Newton Aycliffe, denied a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but was found guilty by a jury following a two-day trial at the court last month.
His barrister, Peter Kilgour, presented character testimonials to the court at today’s (Wednesday May 28) sentencing hearing.
Mr Kilgour said: “While the injury was significant, and inflicted by a bite, which was never denied, I would submit there was a lack of pre-meditation.
“He didn’t go into that incident with any pre-planned intent.”
Mr Kilgour described Gash, who has learning difficulties, and suffers adhd and dyspraxia, as “immature”.
“He’s expressed a lot of remorse and there has been no further repetition since the incident with the backing of his supportive family.
“He does have his difficulties, which he does have to face up to, but this can be considered a one-off, isolated incident.”
Imposing a four-year sentence in a young offenders’ institution, Judge Peter Kelson told Gash: “You used your teeth as a weapon, causing a serious invasive injury on the victim, who is permanenttly scarred, as a result.”