Ear bite man escapes jail

A 21-year-old man who bit off part of another man's ear in an “appalling attack” escaped going to jail because of his good character and remorse.

A 21-year-old man who bit off part of another man's ear in an “appalling attack” escaped going to jail because of his good character and remorse.

Shane Johnson punched and kicked Karl Wilcox in Dereham and then bit off part of the outer rim of his right ear.

Norwich Crown Court heard it could not be sewn back on and Mr Wilcox also suffered a broken nose and needed two operations.

Katherine Moore, prosecuting, said surgeons had done a “fantastic job” on Mr Wilcox's ear but he was left extremely fearful and does not feel safe going into Dereham any more.

Johnson, of Carl Close, Toftwood, admitted unlawfully wounding Mr Wilcox on July 3 last year.

He was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, plus a curfew of six months under which he must stay indoors between 7pm and 6.30am. Johnson will also have to do 250 hours' community work.

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Judge Jeremy Richards said: “It was an appalling attack. Ordinarily the sentence would be immediate custody but I have balanced this against the mitigation and can suspend the sentence. You had probably had too much to drink.”

Johnson was ordered to pay his victim £1700 compensation plus £800 costs.

Miss Moore said the attack took place on the day England played Portugal in the World Cup match and a large amount of alcohol had been drunk.

There was a confrontation in the Splitz night club and Mr Wilcox had approached a group and asked what the problem was.

Jane Oldfield, defending, said Johnson was a man of previous good character with a job.

She added: “We do not wish to take away the seriousness of this matter. It was excessive violence.”