A MAN had to have the rest of his ear removed and replaced with a prosthetic after a large chunk of it had been bitten off during a savage attack in a Warwick restaurant.
Yet despite the force needed to inflict the injury using his teeth as a weapon, attacker Gavin Chandler from Stratford repeatedly insisted he had been acting in self-defence.
It was only on the day of his trial that, having denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent, he pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm.
And following an adjournment for a report to be prepared on him, 46-year-old Chandler, of Brewery Street, was jailed at Warwick Crown Court for two years and four months.
Prosecutor Andrew Tucker said on Boxing Day 2015 Chandler’s victim went out drinking with friends in Warwick town centre, and ended up in the Spice Hut curry house, which has since closed down.
Chandler was also there with three friends, and there was “some unpleasantness, to put it mildly”.
Threats were made by one of Chandler’s friends to stab and beat up one of the other group, made more menacing by pointing out that there was no CCTV camera to record it.
He launched an attack, knocking the other man to the ground, and Chandler’s victim went over to help his friend.
But before he could do so, Chandler charged at him and punched him, and as he tried to defend himself he felt his ear being bitten.
“From what a surgeon subsequently said, the damage would have involved quite a large amount of force,” said Mr Tucker.
The victim managed to break free and, unaware of just how serious his injury was, ran across the square to the pub opposite where, losing a lot of blood, staff did what they could to help him until an ambulance arrived.
A portion of his ear had been bitten off and it was not possible to re-attach it.
He was in hospital for three days, during which he had to undergo an operation under general anaesthetic, and it was thought he would have to have skin grafts.
But the wound became infected, and in August he learnt that the rest of the ear would have to be removed – since when he has been fitted with a prosthetic ear, attached by magnets under his skin.
Mr Tucker pointed out that the victim says his life has been devastated by the injury, which has left him suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and has cost him his relationship with his partner and his business.
When Chandler was arrested, he claimed he had been acting in self-defence, and maintained that when he pleaded not guilty.
Graham Russell, defending, pointed out that even though Chandler had pleaded not guilty, he had never denied being responsible for the bite, even at a time when the victim had given a mistaken description of his attacker.
Mr Russell said Chandler was “well thought-of” by those who knew him, had never been out of work since leaving school, and had been actively involved in junior football coaching until standing down after being charged.
Jailing Chandler, Judge Sally Hancox told him: “It was not until the day of trial that you accepted it was you who had behaved unlawfully.
“I accept you were not the person who started these events, but it is understandable he would want to go to help his friend, and you made a decision that you would involve yourself.
“ Only an immediate custodial term will suffice in this matter.”