Woman played dead after violent boyfriend bit off chunk of her nose

Kyal Balfour was jailed for 2 years 6 months. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Kyal Balfour was jailed for 2 years 6 months. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A woman pretended to be dead to escape after a violent assault by her boyfriend, who bit off a chunk of her nose and left her for dead in a pool of her own blood, a court heard.

Kyal Balfour, described as an 'extremely troubling, controlling and coercive young man,' has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for the attack at his partner's home in November last year.

He was also handed a restraining order banning all contact with her, despite his partner being willing to rekindle the relationship.

'Sometimes the courts have to protect people, even if they don't want protecting,' said Judge Andrew Shaw as he sentenced Balfour at Norwich Crown Court.

Balfour, 29, admitted one count of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

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Balfour and his partner of a year had been having a party at their home at Friends Road in Norwich on November 23.

The relationship had 'not always been sunshine and roses,' prosecutor Chris Youell told the court.

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'There had been arguments and smashing of phones but it had never come to police attention,' he said.

After everyone had left, with one guest sleeping upstairs, Balfour and his partner got into an argument over a disagreement Balfour had earlier in the night.

'She got emotional and said she was going to leave him,' Mr Youell said.

'She describes him pinning her to the sofa and punching her to the face. Then he climbed on top of her and bit a chunk out of her nose, just above the left nostril.

'She was very dazed and decided to play dead, pretending to stop breathing in order for him to stop.

'The defendant seems to have believed her and was running around shouting 'I have killed her'.

'She wasn't dead, she was just holding her breath. He then left the property and she drifted off. When she came to she realised she was injured and there was blood everywhere. Had she looked in the mirror she would have seen part of her nose was missing.'

The victim called her father who took her immediately to hospital. Her wound was cleaned and she was told she would need plastic surgery and a skin graft.

'At that point the trail goes cold because despite this incident, the complainant has feelings for the defendant and hasn't been co-operative in providing a statement or any update to the injury,' added Mr Youell.

When Balfour realised his partner was not dead, he handed himself in at Bethel Street police station, but gave a no comment interview.

Andrew Oliver told the court in mitigation Balfour's problems stemmed from a brain injury in March last year when he was hit with a bottle. It left him 'unable to remember' what he had done, Mr Oliver said.

'He sustained a very serious head injury and was in a coma for a few days. He had in excess of 50 staples in his head.

'Following on from the assault he suffered from anxiety and depression, and had a serious increase in the use of alcohol and drugs, to the extent of dependency, or really heavy binge drinking. He seemed to be a young man who had grown out of criminal offences.'

Jailing Balfour, Judge Shaw added he had developed a 'troubling habit' of damaging his girlfriends' mobile phones.

It included the victim's sister, who Balfour had been in a prior relationship with.

'You are an extremely troubling, controlling and coercive young man,' Judge Shaw said. 'You believed her to be dead but you did not come to her aid. What you did was leave her, as far as you were concerned, for dead in a pool of her own blood.'

The court heard Balfour had previous convictions for domestic violence.

Judge Shaw added: 'It was not long ago this court tried a murder case where repeated warnings and alarm bells were ignored.'.

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