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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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'Role model' bit chunk out of victim's ear in unprovoked street attack

A man who was seen as a role model for young people has appeared in court for biting a chunk out of another man’s ear after drinking “an industrial amount of alcohol”.

Tarran Vailionis photo
Tarran Vailionis

Tarran Vailionis, 22, was arrested after the incident outside the Eaten By Monsters bar in Carlisle’s Devonshire Street on November 2.

He was so drunk that when he woke up in the police cells he did not know what he had been arrested for.

And when interviewed by the police he had to admit he could not remember what had happened and had no idea why he had attacked the other man, James Dotchin, who was a stranger.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Vailionis, a highly regarded apprentice electrician at Innovia Films in Wigton, was told it was only a sheaf of “impressive in the extreme” references from people who knew him that saved him from a prison sentence.

These included one from Det Chief Inspector Roy Ledingham, who said he was “shocked” by what Vailionis had done because he had always regarded him as a role model for the charitable work he did in the area.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him,” the officer said.

Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told the court that Vailionis had drunk two bottles of wine and 10 cans of lager with friends in Wigton before moving on to Carlisle, where he got through several shots of vodka sours before ending up in Devonshire Street.

There, he said, Vailionis for some reason jumped on Mr Dotchin from behind.

The two men fell to the ground, where Vailionis sank his teeth into Mr Dotchin’s ear, taking out a 4cm section which will leave him permanently disfigured.

Vailionis, of Pelutho, Silloth, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.

He said he could not remember doing it, but did not argue with witnesses who said he had.

Elizabeth Muir, defending, said Vailionis had drunk so much at the party in Wigton only to show off to people he had never met before.

She said that for years he had done voluntary work for community groups in the area – including an 11-year stint as a litter-picker at Silloth market.

“He has tried his hardest to become a role model in the community but he realises that he has now tarnished all that,” she said.

Vailionis was given a 20-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid community work, which the judge accepted was “not a hardship” because he already did a lot of it anyway.

He was also put under an electronically monitored curfew from 8pm to 5am every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night for the next six months.

And he was made to pay Mr Dotchin £1,000 compensation, with a £100 statutory surcharge.

Judge Paul Batty QC told Vailionis that what he had done was “almost medieval”.

He said: “The only reason you did it was because you had consumed an industrial amount of alcohol.

“If ever there was a case to illustrate the dangers and the evil of binge drinking, then this case is it.”

After hearing of the high regard in which Vailionis was held in the community, the judge told him he would not be going to prison.

“I don’t want to impose a sentence on you which will blight you for the rest of your life. I am as clear as I can be that this is the last time that any court will see you and I hope you will be able to put this matter behind you in the fullness of time.”

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