Attacker who bit off part of man's ear sent to jail
A 24-year-old who assaulted his partner and sister and who then bit the ear of a man who tried to intervene was jailed for six months yesterday.
Thomas Joseph Park was handed a 12-month sentence at Belfast Crown Court and told he will spend six months in jail and the remainder on licence after he admitted assaulting the women and causing the man grievous bodily harm.
The injured man - a mixed martial arts participant who was in a relationship with Park's sister - sustained a wound were cartilage was exposed after part of his ear was bitten off, causing him both physical and psychological trauma.
Prosecuting barrister Mark Farrell said the incident occurred at a house in the Ballymurphy area of the city on the evening of March 11 last year.
Several people were in the property, alcohol was being consumed and at around 10.30pm Park arrived. The roofer, of no fixed abode, started shouting about people in the house and was put out.
Mr Farrell said that around 20 minutes later Park returned and told his girlfriend "I want to talk to you", then grabbed her by the hair.
The prosecutor said that as things developed, Park's sister confronted him and he punched her in the face. A scuffle then developed between Park and his sister's boyfriend. As he restrained Park, he was punched to the face, then had part of his left ear bitten off.
Mr Farrell said: "While Park got up and left, the complainant saw and felt blood dripping from his left ear and saw part of his ear lying on the kitchen floor."
Park was arrested five days later. He presented a pre-prepared statement where he stated he was attacked by his sister, her partner and his girlfriend and that he used "self-defence and reasonable force". He added he had nothing else to say due to "family issues".
Mr Farrell told Judge Stephen Fowler QC that the witnesses in the case were "reluctant to co-operate with police" and that the guilty pleas were welcomed.
Defence barrister Michael Boyd QC said this was not a planned incident and that Park acted the way he did as he was "alarmed" by the complainant's presence and he wanted to "remove" his sister and girlfriend from his company.
Explaining Park now accepts his actions were "unjustified", Mr Boyd added: "Clearly he has an issue with his temper and anger management."
Handing Park the 12-month sentence, Judge Fowler said: "There is no doubt that when someone uses their teeth to inflict an injury, it is tantamount to a weapon being used."