An aggressive former soldier savagely bit off part of a man’s ear in a violent attack at a party, leaving blood around his own mouth and a horrifying injury to the victim.
Fired-up Josh Normington, 26, used his “teeth as a weapon” against his victim, who is said to still be “suffering continuously” and has permanent scarring from the attack.
Hull Crown Court heard how the victim, 32, has been left having to use a false ear, Hull Live reports.
Normington, of Hull, admitted to inflicting grievous bodily harm on the man on July 17. He also admitted to assault and causing actual bodily harm on the victim’s cousin in another biting attack later on.
Prosecutor, Cathy Kioko-Gilligan, said that a party and barbecue took place to celebrate the birthday of Normington’s girlfriend. A row erupted between him and his girlfriend.
It escalated and the other man became involved. Normington bit his left ear during a scuffle before being grabbed and taken outside to calm down.
The victim was left with half his ear missing and bleeding. An ambulance was called.
The victim contacted his cousin on Facebook and the second man took a taxi to the house. He asked Normington: “Are you John? Have you done this?”
There was a scuffle between them and the cousin put him in a headlock. Normington bit him on a chest muscle, causing him pain like he had never felt before.
“Further punches were thrown between the two men,” said Miss Kioko-Gilligan.
The cousin suffered face and mouth injuries and Normington admitted going beyond self-defence with an extra punch. “The defendant was taken into custody with blood around his mouth,” said Miss Kioko-Gilligan.
The ear biting victim later said: “The incident has really shaken me up. I have struggled to sleep since the assault. I am just really thankful that my children were not here to see what happened.”
He worried about whether an operation to reattach his severed ear would work. He needed safety goggles for work and, because of his false ear, he struggled to wear them.
He realized how vulnerable the incident had made him feel and he did not at first want to leave the house, preferring to stay away from people. “I have only recently started going out again to watch the children’s football,” he said.
“I am finding it hard to sleep and have to lie on the right side.”
The man wore a fake ear in the day but took it off later.
“I am awaiting surgery to have the ear reattached,” he said. “I am still really shocked at this incident and the injury I have been left with.”
He still had his damaged ear sewn to his arm to keep the blood supply alive and it was “very strange” looking down and seeing it there.
The other victim said: “I have never met the defendant before. If he can display this behaviour, what else is he capable of?”
Rachel Scott, mitigating, said that Normington became involved in an argument at the party and was trying to get people to leave. There was a scuffle.
“Very stupidly, he bit his ear,” said Miss Scott.
Normington was waiting for the police to arrive to arrest him when the second victim arrived. The other man threw the first punch from behind and put Normington in a headlock.
“The defendant bit him to get him off,” said Miss Scott. “He is very remorseful for his actions by him and he has shown genuine remorse.
“He has behaved in a manner that was completely out of character for him.”
Normington had been in the army for five years in the 1st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, serving in Estonia, Canada and the Falklands, but left when he got involved with his girlfriend. He worked at Morrisons during lockdown and had recently been working in a factory refining petrol and diesel.
“He was just getting back on his feet after returning to civilian life,” said Miss Scott.
Judge Peter Kelson QC said of the ear biting victim: “His ear is gone. He is suffering continuously. It’s effectively a life-long condition.
“He is hoping that surgery may help but that’s a little unknown. This is a serious injury in the extreme.
“It’s a common feature of both cases that you have seen fit to use your teeth to bite as a weapon. The remnants of the ear, as there are, are attached to his arm awaiting surgery, the tissues having been kept alive.
“There is clearly a permanent, irreversible injury. Your victim is having the use of a prosthetic ear.
“When, all being well, a transplant takes place from the arm to the ear, it is likely there will be permanent scarring on the arm and no perfect solution in respect of the ear. The effect upon him can’t be overstated.”
Normington was jailed for two years.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.