South Shields man jailed for biting a third of his girlfriend’s ear off

A brute who bit a third of his girlfriend’s ear off during an angry row at their home has been locked up.

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Tom McKenzie ripped through the flesh with his teeth during an argument about him “looking at other girls” and the victim ran from the house for help.

Newcastle Crown Court heard police found the severed ear segment inside the property but it was unable to be re-attached.

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The court heard the two-thirds of her ear that she now has left has a “jagged” edge.

Prosecutor Omar Ahmad told the court on February 8 the couple had been out socialising and drinking and an argument started when they got back home.

Neighbours had contacted the police at around 1am due to the noise and officers attended but the trouble calmed down and they left.

Newcastle Crown Court.Newcastle Crown Court.
Newcastle Crown Court.

Mr Ahmad said at 2.45am the woman went to a nearby house, of someone she knew, for help and told the court: “He was awoken by the complainant knocking on the door.

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“He describes the complainant crying and had injuries to her ear and face.

“She said they had been drinking and he had assaulted her and bitten her ear off.

“The emergency services were called.”

The court heard as well as the ear bite, the woman had bruising, tenderness to her face and pain to her neck.

The woman said the pair had argued about McKenzie “looking at other girls” and she had pinned him down and was shouting at him when he attacked.

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McKenzie, 27, of Baring Street in South Shields, admitted causing grievous bodily harm on the basis of excessive self defence.

The court heard the victim ceased support the prosecution and therefore his basis was not challenged.

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced McKenzie, who has previous convictions, to 29 months behind bars.

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The judge told him: “She remembers being on the sofa bed in the living room of the address, she got on top of you, you tried to get her off. She was pinning you down in anger and shouting and you bit her ear. She felt pain and pulled away.”

Judge Bindloss added: “She has a third of her ear missing and will have that for the rest of her life.

“The level of provocation was rather slight. There were many alternative actions you could have taken that fell short of biting her ear.”

The court heard McKenzie has health problems, including arthritis, after breaking his back in a rock climbing accident as a youth.

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Jennifer Coxon, defending, said McKenzie is apologetic for what happened and said he is “pleased” that the victim is now in a new relationship.

Miss Coxon said McKenzie is looking forward to getting back into employment.

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