Published: 08:09, 11 July 2017
A convicted killer who savagely bit off part of a man’s ear when violence erupted in a Medway street has been jailed for eight years.
Under an extended sentence for public protection, Ruben White, who has a previous conviction for manslaughter, will have to serve two thirds of the sentence before being considered for release.
The 28-year-old, of no fixed address, will be on licence for a further three years.
He was convicted in May with Liam Hudson, 28, of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Hudson, of Station Road, Rainham, was jailed for eight years. His girlfriend, Amelia Waters, 27, of the same address, was cleared of the charge but convicted of the lesser offence of unlawful wounding and sentenced to 21 months.
All three were given 21 months concurrent for affray. Hudson was acquitted of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
White left his victim, Ian Hayward, in need of reconstructive surgery following the attack in a residential street. The piece of ear he gnawed off was never found.
Judge Philip Statman said after the verdicts: “This is a grave offence and unfortunately it involves violence in the street with premeditation and use of a weapon, namely teeth.
“We have a very ugly injury which has occurred.”
Maidstone Crown Court heard the violence happened on November 2 last year following bad feeling toward’s Mr Hayward’s family over a previous road rage incident.
His son Sam had been with his wife Charlotte South and their six-month-old child in their Mitsubishi Shogun driving along Richmond Road in Gillingham.
Prosecutor Peter Alcock said they passed Hudson standing by an Audi A3 driven by Waters. They followed the Shogun.
Samuel phoned his father, who was working at a house nearby, to tell him about the situation.
When Miss South stopped at traffic lights, Waters pulled alongside and shouted: “Don’t smile ------ ----, I will bite your ------ nose off.”
Miss South replied that they had a baby in the car and she should back off.
She then drove to Cavendish Avenue where Ian Hayward was renovating a house. She went into the house with the baby.
The car containing Waters, Hudson and White stopped in the middle of the road and all three got out.
They approached Ian and Samuel Hayward and made a group attack on them with bleach being sprayed.
Ian Hayward told of being held face down over a car bonnet when he heard a crunching sound.
“I initially felt very little pain but I just heard like a crunching noise, like somebody eating cornflakes if you like,” he said.
White, formerly of Kingswood Road, Gillingham, was alleged to have held up a piece of Mr Hayward’s right ear saying: ‘I have got a bit of your ------- ear.’
But Judge Statman said he was not convinced that White “held it up as a trophy”.
White was jailed for three-and-a-half years in January 2011 for the single punch manslaughter of Lithuanian Saulius Klevinskas, 35, in Gillingham.
Judge Statman said the violence was in order to take revenge on the Hayward family.
“The three of you acted in concert to bring an ugly act of violence to Cavendish Avenue,” he said.
“Each of you were responsible for your own individual acts, as well as acting in concert one with the other.”
Hudson’s record, he said, was a classic one of a “tearaway youth” and then petty offending and anti-social behaviour.
The judge told Waters he could not be sure she had a weapon when she left the car she and Hudson were in.
“That being said, you bear responsibility in many respects that this happened in the first place,” he continued. “You don’t cover yourself in glory in that particular regard.
“I bear in mind the impact on your character this conviction has and the press reporting and the ignominy that has arisen from there.”
White was regarded as a model prisoner and had been given a privileged job, but his record was somewhat different to Hudson and Waters.
“Your victim has lost part of his ear,” he said. “He sustained psychological harm as well. One cannot say with any certainty whether his ear can be totally repaired.
“There is here a significant degree of premeditation. There is use of a weapon - in this case part of your body Mr White - your teeth - to behave in the manner you did.
“Further more, your have got bleach with you. It was not something that was simply left out with the rubbish for you to come by.”
He told all three: “I detect not a hint of remorse at any stage during the course of your trial. Now, I am told by your counsel you are genuinely sorry for what you have done.”
Judge Statman said he was satisfied White passed the “test” for dangerousness, as there had been an escalation in his level of violence.