Banned from Belfast: Man accused of biting woman's ear off
A man accused of biting a woman's ear off during a drinking binge has been banned from entering Belfast.
The prohibition was imposed on John Doran as part of tight conditions under which he was granted High Court bail.
A judge decided to release him after declaring there was a risk of injustice based on delays in progressing the case.
Mr Justice Deeny also stated: "I really don't understand why the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland cannot bring cases for trial in a way that seems to happen across the water."
Doran, 37, has been in custody since the alleged attack at the victim's Belfast home in April last year.
It was previously set out how the pair had been together drinking bottles of vodka for up to three days.
Police went to the flat after being told the woman's ear had been bitten off.
Officers allegedly found Doran with his lips and teeth covered in blood. He also had cuts and bruising to his face.
It was claimed that the bite was carried out as he straddled the woman on a living room settee and punched her repeatedly.
Police were said to have been unable to recover the missing piece of her ear.
Doran, with an address at Emmet Street, Newry, faces a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
His lawyers lodged a renewed application for bail based on the delay in listing the case for trial.
Defence counsel argued that he could serve 18 months in prison before the hearing takes place.
He also disclosed that his client and the alleged victim were both alcoholics and had been platonic friends rather than in a relationship.
Despite accepting that a prima facie case of grievous bodily harm has been established, the lawyer suggested there may be an issue over any intent on the part of Doran.
In a finely balanced decision, Mr Justice Deeny said it was unfortunate that 11 months after after the incident the accused has still not been returned to the Crown Court.
"It seems to me there's a risk of injustice of a not insignificant kind that the court has to address, arising from the delay in bringing this matter to trial," he said.
Bail was granted on condition that Doran lives in Newry, reports daily to police and abides by curfew and electronic tagging requirements.
The judge also imposed an alcohol ban and ordered him to have no contact with the alleged victim.
Mr Justice Deeny further directed: "He is not to enter the city of Belfast."
Belfast Telegraph Digital