A WOMAN chewed off a chunk of her cousin's nose in front of horrified onlookers at a funeral wake, a court heard.

Savage Jodie Rutley, 21, was today jailed for 12 years for the shocking attack which saw her victim lose her entire left nostril.

As the blood-drenched woman waited for an ambulance, Rutley went home and returned with two long kitchen knives.

Judge Howard Crowson, at Teesside Crown Court, branded the attack "unforgivable" and said the victim will be affected forever.

Rutley lunged at her cousin with the knives, forcing her to swat away the blows and suffer a serious cut to her right thumb.

She described the moment her nose was ripped off to police, saying: "I felt wetness on my face and I could feel her chewing on my nose.

"I tried to poke my fingers in her eyes to get her to loosen her grip on my nose but nothing happened. There was blood everywhere.

"As I was breathing I could see blood squirting out of my nose and people were saying she had bitten my nose off."

The horror happened at the Quoits Club in Guisborough, east Cleveland, in February following the funeral of Jordan Dowson, 19, who was killed in a car accident.

The court heard how Rutley and her victim were second cousins who had known each other all their lives but had fallen out last year, leading to "bad blood" between them.

After an argument inside the club, both separately went outside to have a cigarette and "came together" on either side of a car park railing.

It is said the victim told the defendant: "This is a funeral, it is not the time or place for trouble."

The two women began struggling and fell to the ground which is when Rutley, who also had bite marks on her face when she was arrested, sunk her teeth into the nose off and ran away.

But minutes later she returned, after changing her clothes, said prosecutor Sarah Mallett, and tried to stab her victim in the back.

In an impact statement read to the court, the 23-year-old, from Guisborough, said: "I cannot believe she has done this to me. There will be months of surgery and I will be left with scars and will need skin grafts from my forehead.

"I don't like to leave the house because people stare at me and my four-year-old brother will not look at me because of the injury to my face.

"Every time I think about it I feel sick. The other day I watched my mum chopping carrots with a knife and I felt sick because all I could think of was Jodie attacking me."

She denied allegations made by the defence that she had bitten Rutley in the scuffle.

The court was told Rutley had previous convictions for police assault and had two other reprimands for violence.

Sean Grainger, mitigating, claimed it was the victim who first grabbed Rutley in the car park.

He said: The defendant went far too far in what she did but we submit she was not the one who landed the first blow."

He said Rutley acknowledged that her action in going away to bring the knives were "disgraceful" but said the injuries from the knives had not been serious.

Rutley, of The Charltons, Saltburn, east Cleveland, was jailed for six-and-a-half years for the bite, and five-and-a-half years for the knife attack.

She admitted two counts of wounding with intent and two of carrying an offensive weapon, and wept as she was led to the cells.

Judge Crowson told her: "You bit off a substantial part of her nose. She was left with a dreadful and very significant injury which will persist with her probably for the rest of her life.

"It was frankly unforgivable that you attacked her in the way that you did and a great good fortune that no one was more significantly harmed than they were."