Suspended sentence over horrific Saundersfoot ear bite attack
8:00am Saturday 23rd March 2013 in News
A man permanently disfigured the face of another man after a trivial row outside Sands nightclub in Saundersfoot, a judge was told.
Kieran David Hopkins, aged 26, bit off a substantial part of Shaun Neil Jones' left ear and spat it out.
Doctors tried to reconstruct the ear but without much success and Mr Jones' would be visible scarred for the rest of his life.
Hopkins denied unlawful wounding but was convicted after a trial at Swansea crown court.
Last week he was sentenced to 14 months in jail, suspended for two years, placed under supervision for 18 months and told to undertake alcohol work activities and attend a thinking skills programme.
Hopkins, of Russell Terrace in Carmarthen, was also ordered to pay Mr Jones £250 compensation and £200 towards the prosecution costs.
The court heard how on September 4, 2010, Hopkins had been with a group of friends in the nightclub. Outside, he approached Mr Jones' group and asked for a light for his cigarette.
They refused and after "unpleasant exchanges" the two men walked away to fight.
Hopkins was caught on CCTV cameras hitting and kicking Mr Jones. Towards the end of the confrontation Hopkins displayed "primitive and deplorable" behaviour by biting off part of the left ear.
"This was a serious injury and you used your teeth as a weapon," said the judge, Mr Recorder Hopkins.
He added that if it had not been for the lengthy delay in prosecuting the case he would have jailed Hopkins, unemployed, for up to three years.
Hopkins' barrister, Dyfed Thomas, said his client had acted excessively but in self defence.
"There was provocation. He was not the one who said let's go round to the toilets and sort this out," added Mr Thomas.
Hopkins, he added, had been under a 10pm to 7am curfew for more than two years as part of his bail conditions, a period of which had been electronically tagged.
As he was entitled to one day off any jail sentence for every two days wearing a tag, he had already "served" a substantial prison sentence, albeit not behind bars.