A BOYFRIEND who bit his girlfriend’s lip during a row has told jurors “I didn’t mean to hurt her”.
Rhys Culley, denied he was trying to disfigure “beautiful” Chantelle Ward when he sank his teeth into her face and left her convinced her lip had come off.
The 23-year-old is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court accused of wounding with intent, which he denies.
Miss Ward told jurors Culley had tried to kiss her and asked if she still loved him, before he bit down hard on her upper lip.
Giving evidence from the witness box yesterday, Culley denied the 18-year-old’s claims and said he bit her only because she was biting his thumb, after a row turned violent.
Culley told the court: “I tried to pull my thumb out of her mouth and I did bite her lip, because I thought it was the only way I could get her off. I was in so much pain.
“I didn’t intentionally mean to bite her.
“I was trying to pull my thumb out of her mouth.”
Culley claimed Miss Ward had attacked him during a row at their home after a night out at the County pub in South Shields, in February. He told jurors: “I loved her more than anything else in the world.
“I thought she loved me exactly the same way. I was lucky to have a girlfriend as beautiful as her.”
Culley, of Elizabeth Diamond Gardens, South Shields, denied he had been worried about what Miss Ward would get up to while he was working away with his new job, which had been due to start just days after the attack.
He told the court he is sorry for what happened that night and added: “There is not one day before I go to bed or when I wake up I don’t think about the situation. I didn’t mean to hurt her.”
He denies the charge he faces.
The trial continues.