Published: 06:01, 20 May 2015
A former soldier lost his temper with a pal over a £100 debt and bit off part of his ear in a fight.
Then angry Jordan Baker spat out the piece of flesh, which landed at the feet of his victim’s horrified girlfriend.
The attack left Ryan Murray, 22, with a disfigured ear and needing skin grafts, Canterbury Crown Court was told.
Now Judge Simon James, who saw Mr Murray’s injury, has sent 20-year-old Baker, of Coast Drive, Greatstone, to a Young Offender’s Institute for 14 months.
Prosecutor Claire Cooper said the incident happened near the New Romney Grill in October 2013 when Mr Murray and girlfriend April Kwok stopped for a kebab.
Baker - a former friend - was also there and the two got into an argument over a £100 debt and began fighting in the car park.
"I consider the bite to be the equivalent of using a weapon..." - Judge Simon James
She said Baker got out of his car and began swinging punches at Mr Murray, who grabbed his rival in a bear hug and wrestled him to the ground.
It was then the former squaddie sunk his teeth into the left ear of his rival and bit off the top part of the ear – leaving him with a “significant” injury needing surgery, which is “unlikely to cure the physical deformity”.
The judge told Baker: “You then proceeded to spit out the severed segment at the feet of Mr Murray’s girlfriend, who was looking on in horror.
“I consider the bite to be the equivalent of using a weapon!”
He said two statements made by the victim had revealed “long-term effects” of the permanent injury.
Eloise Marshall, defending, said Baker had been in the army and hoped to return.
His partner is expecting a baby in six months time, she added.
Baker had pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding on the basis he had been defending himself, but had gone too far.
But Judge James told him: “The evidence suggests that you were the first to resort to violence and I note you accept as much.
“You had clearly contributed to the situation which resulted in you needing to use physical force. I reject any notion that at the time you bit Mr Murray he was endeavouring to gouge your eyes out.
“But I do accept that there was no premeditation and you acted out of character. I also accept that your remorse is genuine.”
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