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Man who bit victim’s nose during attack given 20 months in jail

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Anthony Gerard Kearns was given a 40-month sentence, divided equally between prison and supervised licence

Anthony Gerard Kearns was given a 40-month sentence, divided equally between prison and supervised licence

Anthony Gerard Kearns was given a 40-month sentence, divided equally between prison and supervised licence

A Belfast man who "had a good go at trying to bite the nose off someone" was jailed for 20 months today.

Anthony Gerard Kearns (25), of Stewartstown Road in the west of the city, appeared at Belfast Crown Court via video-link at Maghaberry, where he was sentenced for offences of wounding and common assault.

Branding the attack on the injured party as "unprovoked", Judge Neil Rafferty QC imposed a 40-month sentence on Kearns, which he divided equally between prison and supervised licence.

The incident occurred just after midnight on June 2, 2019, in west Belfast. The injured party arrived at Selby Walk in a car with his girlfriend and was approached by Kearns. The man and Kearns, who knew each other, became involved in a verbal altercation, then Kearns launched an attack and started punching the man.

A grapple ensued before Kearns grabbed the man by the shoulders, pulled him in close and proceeded to bite his nose.

Following the attack, Kearns barged into the man's girlfriend while fleeing from the scene, resulting in a charge of common assault.

Crown barrister Kate McKay described the wound to the injured party as "significant", and that it required 14 stitches. She also said the attack was "unprovoked" and had resulted in a permanent facial scar.

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Defence lawyer Paul Farrell said his client grew up in an area of social deprivation, had a troubled background and began abusing drink and drugs after falling in with a "negative peer group".

Mr Farrell told Judge Rafferty his client was had expressed regret for what he had done and planned to "avoid criminality when he gets out of custody”.

Telling Mr Farrell his client "had a good go at biting the nose off someone", Judge Rafferty said using teeth as a weapon was a serious and aggravating factor.

The judge added that while he accepted that Kearns’ remorse was genuine, he also took into account his previous criminal record.

Following sentencing, the judge added that he hoped Kearns would address his issues when out on supervised licence.


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