Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 13:44 UK

Man bit off and hid friend's ear

Robert John
Robert John also stole a mobile phone so his victim could not call for help

A man who bit a friend's ear off, and then ran off and hid it, has been jailed for five years.

Robert John, 20, attacked Carl Thorpe, 26, in Pembroke Dock, after drinking cider as they watched a DVD featuring football hooligans.

Suddenly John punched Mr Thorpe to the floor before punching him again up to 20 times and then biting off all of his left ear - complete with ear ring.

A Swansea Crown Court judge said John taking the ear away was "bizarre".

The court heard how Pc Jason Richards after the attack had spotted John "covered in blood".

John had put the ear inside a plastic bag and hidden it amongst ivy growing on a wall.

But by the time he admitted it to police it was too late for doctors to do anything with it.

The court heard Mr Thorpe faced considerable periods of reconstructive surgery.

John also stole from Mr Thorpe and locked him in his own flat.

The two had bumped into each other in the town after Mr Thorpe went out to buy cans of cider and to get a DVD, Swansea Crown Court was told.

They went back to Mr Thorpe's flat to watch the film, which featured footage of fans biting each other.

After the beating John straddled Mr Thorpe and took his entire ear "clean off" with his teeth.

You literally ripped off his ear with your teeth, that is akin to using them as a weapon
Judge Gerald Price

Timothy Roberts, prosecuting said Mr Thorpe was left "in considerable pain and bleeding profusely".

He was forced to shout for help from his window because John had taken his mobile.

John was later to tell police he had attacked "an Arsenal fan" and that he had punched him 15 to 20 times.


John's barrister Stephen Rees said his client was still in denial about what he had done.

"It was so appalling," he said. "It was an inexplicable loss of temper. It's bizarre, putting the ear amongst the ivy." he added.

Judge Gerald Price told John: "You literally ripped off his ear with your teeth. That is akin to using them as a weapon.

"Taking the ear with you was bizarre."

John, who is also from Pembroke Dock admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and stealing various items from Mr Thorpe's flat.

He was jailed for five years for grievous bodily harm and for an additional five months for breaching a suspended prison sentence imposed for earlier offending.

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