Prestatyn man warned to expect prison after biting off pubgoer's eyebrow

Reporter:

Andrew Martin

A man bit off another man’s eyebrow in an unprovoked attack in a pub.

The victim felt the eyebrow being ripped away from his face.

A court heard how the detached eyebrow was taken in ice to hospital where medics were able to stitch it back on.

The victim Aled Wyn Jones had 25 stitches to the wound at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan but had been left with a scar.

CCTV footage of the attack was played to a jury.

Defendant Simon Andrew Morris, a shift supervisor who had never been in any trouble before, admitted wounding.

He denied the more serious charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm but was convicted.

Morris, aged 31 of Clos St Francis in Prestatyn, said that he simply could not remember anything of the incident at The Cross Foxes in Prestatyn.

The defendant was described as a calm, placid man normally and he said he had no intention of causing a serious injury.

But the jury at Mold Crown Court convicted him of wounding with intent and he was rebailed pending sentence next week.

He was warned to expect a significant prison sentence.

Judge Rowlands told him that the offence he had already admitted was very serious but now he had been convicted of the alternative charge of wounding with intent it was “a dreadfully serious matter”.

“I accept that it was out of character,” he said.

But it had been caused by drinking “far, far too much” and in drink he became aggressive.

“Sadly that is something the court see all too often,” the judge said.

It was no mitigation – quite the opposite.

Prosecuting barrister James Coutts said that the attack on December 9 last year was completely unprovoked.

Victim Aled Wyn Jones did not know the defendant.

Mr Jones had been enjoying a night out, watching friends of his who were in a band.

He had been dancing and he was talking to a friend when the defendant approached, explained Mr Coutts.

“If you bite someone with sufficient force to bite off a man’s eyebrow, what else do you intend other than to cause a serious injury,” Mr Coutts told the jury.

It was about 11.45 p.m. and there had been no issues in the pub, no arguments, and there was a good atmosphere.

He was in the smoking area speaking to a female friend when he was suddenly put to the floor by a man he didn’t know.

Morris bit him to the cheek area, the victim pushed him off but the defendant bit him to the left eyebrow.

Mr Jones was not called as a witness because his evidence was accepted but in his statement, which was read by Mr Coutts, he said: “I remember him pulling at my skin and feeling my eyebrow coming off in his mouth. The pain was excruciating.

“I felt my skin rip off. I was aware of a crowd of people pulling him off me.”

Defending barrister Simon Killeen said his client admitted wounding but denied intending to cause a serious injury.

Morris broke down several times giving evidence and told how he was ashamed. The scene on the CCTV looked appalling, he said.

“I know it sounds stupid but I cannot remember it, I wish I could,” he said. “It’s a complete blank.”

He told how he and a friend had been to three other premises and had two or three pints in each before going to the Cross Foxes where he had some Jack Daniels whisky.

Morris said he recalled going in but then did not remember anything until he woke up the following morning and was told what had happened. He could not believe it, he said.

Morris said someone may have spiked his drink, but he did not know.

In evidence, he said that he was ashamed and sorry. He agreed he must have used a lot of force and it had taken three people to pull him off – one trying to prise open his mouth but was unable to do so because he was biting so hard.

Mr Coutts suggested that he was hiding behind his lack of memory to explain away something that he had done which was so out of character.

Fiancée Stacey pearl Atherton described him as gentle and non-violent, neighbour Robert Tyler said that the defendant was kind and considerate, never unpleasant, violent or aggressive.

His works supervisor Martin Foster said Morris was a calming influence and other witnesses described him as kind, gentle, well-mannered and placid.

Email:

andrew.martin@nwn.co.uk

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