A MAN was found guilty by a jury yesterday of biting off a piece of an opponent's ear during a late-night street fight.

The jury at York Crown Court found Lea Barker not guilty of intending to inflict grievous bodily harm on Stephen Lamb, but guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm. He had denied both charges.

Barker, 27, of Brailsford Crescent, Water Lane, York, was also cleared of causing grievous bodily harm to Carol Louise Binks, who had her jaw fractured in the scuffle.

Robert Terry, prosecuting, alleged the accused carried out "unprovoked and unjustified" attacks on the victims in a fight last August near a kebab take-away cart in the centre of York.

He claimed Barker "rushed at" Mr Lamb and, after punching him, bit a piece of his left ear. The accused was then said to have punched the girl in the mouth, breaking her jaw, as she tried to assist.

But Barker told the court that after making a rude comment, Mr Lamb went for him and, "fighting for his life and in a blind panic", he bit out.

He said that, after another person tried to hit him he lashed out in self defence, not knowing it was a girl.

Barker was warned all sentencing options were open to the court, including imprisonment. He was remanded on bail for a pre-sentence report.