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Monday, 8 January, 2001, 13:40 GMT
Woman jailed for testicle bite
Denise Carr
Denise Carr said she was trying to rescue her friend
A woman who claimed she bit off a man's testicle "in self defence" has been jailed for six months.

Denise Carr was told by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court that the injury caused was so serious she had to be jailed.

Carr, who had pleaded guilty in December to affray, sobbed as she was led from the court.

Judge Gerard Harkins said: "An injury inflicted by biting in a manner which must have been done with some force is so serious that a non-custodial sentence cannot be justified."

Neil Hutchinson
Neil Hutchinson outside Newcastle Crown Court
The attack happened after 28-year-old Carr and her husband Nathan threw a party to celebrate the wedding of their friends Neil and Shelley Hutchinson in October 1999.

The court heard how the women left their husbands babysitting at Carr's home in Low Fell, Gateshead, while they went for a night out.

When they returned a violent row broke out between Mrs Hutchinson and her husband of three weeks Neil, 30.

The court heard how Mr Hutchinson grabbed her by the throat.

Testicle found

Carr attempted to rescue her friend but was instead punched to the ground by Mr Hutchinson who then sat on her.

Carr bit her friend's husband in an attempt to free herself though she claimed she did not realise what she had done at the time.

Mr Hutchinson's testicle was later found by police under a picture frame.

Shelley Hutchinson
Shelley Hutchinson: Disbelief at sentence
They had initially been called to the house over an alleged drunken assault by Mr Hutchinson on Carr.

But an officer noticed Mr Hutchinson's blood-soaked jeans and realised he was seriously injured.

Though he was rushed to Queen Elizabeth General Hospital, surgeons were unable to sew the testicle back on.

The court heard that Mr Hutchinson spent several days in hospital and has since undergone counselling for a loss of confidence.

Shock at sentence

During defence evidence two witnesses including a serving police officer, testified to Carr's "exemplary character".

Speaking after the sentencing, Mrs Hutchinson said: "I cannot believe that someone can be sent to jail for defending their friend."

Mr Hutchinson, who was not in court for the sentencing, has since parted from his wife.

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