A WOMAN is facing a potential prison sentence after admitting biting off part of an ear in a late night fight at a village cricket club function.

Kate Temple, 33, was told by a judge that custody is, “the most likely” outcome when she returns to court to be sentenced next month.

It follows her ‘guilty’ plea to a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm on another woman, during a disturbance at a hog roast night, staged at Dawdon Colliery Welfare Cricket Club’s Welfare Park ground, in Seaham, County Durham.

The incident took place late on July 21, 2013, but it was only at today’s (Wednesday March 11) short hearing in the case, at Durham Crown Court, 20 months after the event, that Temple admitted responsibility.

Her victim, a 31-year-old local woman, was said to have had about a one-third section of an ear severed in the melee.

Temple, of Windermere Road, and her older sister, Louise Scollen, of St John’s Terrace, both in Seaham, were subsequently arrested amid police inquiries into the incident.

Initially both she and Miss Scollen, now 39, were charged with unlawfully and maliciously causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and the lesser alternative of simply inflicting grievous bodily harm, on the same injured party.

Both pleaded ‘not guilty’ to both charges last August, and the case was adjourned for a trial.

Defence counsel Tony Hawks told that hearing the outcome of expert medical reports was awaited, based on dental impressions given by both women.

When the case came back to court today Temple admitted the second charge, which Shaun Dryden, for the prosecution, said was considered “acceptable” to the Crown.

He said, “in the light of the plea offered” by Temple, the prosecution would not proceed with the case against Miss Scollen.

Bob Spragg, for Temple, told the court: “She’s of previous good character”, but added that the defence is seeking further reports prior to sentence.

Mr Hawks, for Miss Scollen, asked for a costs order in favour of his client, in the light of events.

Judge Simon Hickey, who agreed to the request, “in principle”, adjourned the case pending completion of the reports on Temple.

But he added: “The fact I’m adjourning in your case should be taken as no indication as to what the final sentence will be.

“You have pleaded ‘guilty’ to a serious offence, and, in my judgement, a sentence of custody is most likely.”

He bailed Temple to return for sentence in the week of April 20.

Judge Hickey recorded formal ‘not guilty’ verdicts on the charges still denied by both defendants.