Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 13:46 UK

Ear-biting rugby player is jailed

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones bit Daniel Hobbs's ear during a confrontation over a penalty

A rugby player who bit off a piece of an opponent's ear during a match, after the referee had awarded a penalty, has been jailed for a year.

Flanker Gareth Jones, 25, of Cardiff side Star RFC, left opponent Daniel Hobbs, 25, of Rhiwbina RFC, needing 20 stitches to reattach his earlobe.

Jones, of Rhoose, had denied wounding with intent, but was convicted after a trial at Cardiff Crown Court in August.

Sentencing him, Judge Stephen Hopkins described the attack as "barbaric".

Jailing Jones for 12 months, the judge told said: "This remains an appalling piece of gratuitous violence.

"The unprovoked and mindless, deliberate, biting of an opponent's ear during a rugby match can only be described as a barbaric act."

Jones's trial had heard the match being played at Rhiwbina was only 10 minutes old when when the attack happened.

Mike Jones, prosecuting, told the jury: "Rhiwbina were awarded a penalty but were blocked by opposition players.

'Lying'

"Both teams started pushing and shoving and Jones came face to face with Mr Hobbs.

"Jones grabbed hold of his upper arm, lent forward and purposely bit him on the left ear without any justification.

"Hobbs immediately felt a sharp pain and put his hand up to his ear. When he pulled his hand back it was covered in blood."

The jury heard that Mr Jones was arrested after the match.

Jones claimed witnesses who said they had seen him bite Mr Hobbs were lying.


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