Dad 'bit off part of man's ear'

A SUFFOLK man who bit part of a man's ear off in a brawl outside a town centre pub has been jailed for four and a half years.

Jane Hunt

A SUFFOLK man who bit part of a man's ear off in a brawl outside a town centre pub has been jailed for four and a half years.

Sentencing 45-year-old Craig Smith, Judge Neil McKittrick said his victim had been left permanently disfigured by the attack.

Smith, of Blackfriars, Sudbury, had denied wounding Ashley Sims with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm on September 3 but was found guilty after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court last month.

Sentence was adjourned until yesterday for a pre-sentence report.

The court had heard that Mr Sims had been in the Grover and Allen pub in Sudbury when Smith went up to him and grabbed him by the throat before throwing a chair at him.

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Mr Sims had left the pub but returned half an hour later to find out the reason for the earlier incident.

While Mr Sims was standing at the door to the pub Smith's son had come out and there had been an argument between them.

Craig Smith had then come out of the pub and had allegedly “set about” Mr Sims in what was described as a “serious and sustained” assault during which he knocked Mr Sims to the ground and banged his head on the ground several times before biting off part of his ear.

After the attack Mr Sims underwent surgery to close the wound to his ear. He was also found to have suffered two black eyes and a corneal abrasion to one of his eyes.

After his arrest Craig Smith told police that he had been subjected to verbal abuse and claimed he had gone outside to defend his son after seeing that he was being assaulted.

Joanne Eley, for Smith, said her client had gone outside the pub with the intention of protecting his son and admitted he had “gone over the top”.

She said Smith had always accepted causing the injury to Mr Sims ear but denied intending to cause serious harm to him.

She said Smith accepted banging Mr Sims' head on the pavement but denied trying to gouge his eyes.

Miss Eley said Smith was described as hard working and considerate by people he had worked with and he was currently the full time carer for his mother who was terminally ill.