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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Thug bit off part of man’s ear in Cumbrian street attack

A thug bit a chunk out of a man’s ear while they grappled in the street.

David Burns, 36, carried out the “abhorrent and repulsive” attack in Whitehaven town centre.

Burns, of Red Lonning, Whitehaven, left John Young needing 18 stitches and surgery after sinking his teeth into his ear.

Judge Peter Hughes QC, passing sentence, said the assault was a “terrible thing to do”.

Burns was given a two-year prison term, suspended for two years, after admitting unlawful wounding.

Jonathan Dickinson, prosecuting, said the violence happened on March 31 last year.

He told the court Mr Young was out for the night in the town centre when he saw a friend involved in an “altercation” with Burns in Market Place.

Mr Young grabbed hold of Burns and they both fell to the floor, the court heard.

Another man arrived and started punching Mr Young and Burns bit the lower part of his left ear.

Burns and the other man left after the trouble broke up.

“Police were called,” said Mr Dickinson. “They saw Mr Young with part of his left lower ear bitten off.”

Burns was arrested, telling police he had earlier been to a christening before going into the town centre.

He had downed drinks including five alcopops and a shot and remembered arguing but could not remember what it was about.

Greg Hoare, in mitigation, said Burns was “99 per cent of the time a hard-working man who looks after his family”.

Judge Hughes said what had gone on before to lead to the violence was “far from clear”.

He told Burns: “What you did really is quite abhorrent and repulsive. To bite off a significant chunk of somebody’s ear is a terrible thing to do and it will have a profound, long-term effect on John Young.”

Burns will be supervised for two years and was ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work for the community.

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