Actor Clive Mantle fought back tears yesterday as he described the moment he held his severed ear in his hand after it was bitten off in an attack.
The television star’s voice cracked with emotion as he re-lived an assault on him by two men in March last year, at a Newcastle hotel which left him permanently disfigured.
Mr Mantle – best known for his role in Casualty – had been staying at a Travelodge in the city while he was appearing in a play at the Theatre Royal.
He told jurors he was attacked and had his ear bitten off after a confrontation with two men, who he had asked to stop making a noise outside his room, in the early hours of the morning.
He said: “I bent down to pick the part of my left ear that had been bitten off. I picked it up off the carpet.
Mr Mantle said the attack, in the hotel corridor, was stopped when “guardian angel” Alice Klenk, who is a nurse, came out of her room.
He said: “I had my ear in my left hand. I got back to my room and she put it in a glass of water, to preserve it.”
Mr Mantle told jurors he initially felt like a figure of fun to Philip McGilvray and Alan French, who had been making a noise outside his room in the early hours, and did not initially detect any threat from them.
Mr Mantle said he thought it was “job done” after his initial request for quiet, but the noise soon started up again.
He said he gave the men “every opportunity” to be quiet and move away from his room before he decided to call security.
After realising he had no telephone in his room, he decided to report the matter to reception. He said the men blocked his path down the corridor and he was forced to push his way between them before he was grabbed and punched around 15 times.
Mr Mantle said that during the “mele” he “toppled like a tree” to the floor and ended up face down.
He said: “The next thing I was aware of was a pain in my ear.”
Mr Mantle said in a bid to get the attacker’s teeth off his ear he put his thumb in the man’s eye socket.
Philip McGilvray, 33, of Arbroath Grove, Hamilton, and Alan French, 32, of Forrest Gate, Hamilton, both deny a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent ,and are being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.
Jurors have heard Mr Mantle was in Newcastle for work purposes and was staying at the Travelodge at Fawcett Street in the city.
Prosecutor Jolyon Perks told the court Mr Mantle was asleep at the hotel and was disturbed at about 4.30am on March 24 last year, by McGilvray and French, who were visiting from Scotland.
In the violence that followed a “substantial part” of Mr Mantle’s ear was bitten off and ended up on the hotel floor. The court heard McGilvray accepts he caused the injury, but told police he had been acting in self-defence.
French claimed Mr Mantle had “gone for” his friend McGilvray, so he had tried to pull them apart.
Both men deny the charge.
The trial continues.