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Ear-biting thug jailed for five years

A "savage" who bit off his girlfriend’s ear leaving her disfigured for life has been jailed for five years.

Despite the appalling injury, Donna Conboy refused to give evidence against Andrew Gaff at his trial for causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The 43-year-old thug invented a story that she had been attacked by somebody else, but a jury convicted him.

A judge said Miss Conboy was vulnerable and frightened, adding: “She still cares for you in that strange and mysterious way that human beings are still capable. She appears to still love you.”

Maidstone Crown Court heard that Gaff attacked the victim at his home in The Glebe, Bidborough, Tunbridge Wells, on May 2.

He lost his temper and chased after her as she fled. He punched her to the ground and kicked her in the head and body.

Police arrived on the scene to find Miss Conboy covered in blood. She told an officer: “He has bitten my ear off.”

Gaff, a separated father-of-two, was abusive and put up resistance during arrest and a PAVA spray was used on him.

Miss Conboy was taken to hospital to be treated for the wound to her right ear, as well as severe bruising.

Gaff had not long been released from a two-month jail sentence for assaulting Miss Conboy.

In the previous attack, after returning home drunk he punched and kicked her and pulled a scarf around her neck.

In May 2006 he admitted causing criminal damage, having smashed his way in to her home, ripped her top off and threw her mobile phones at a wall.

Andrew McLaughlin, defending, said Gaff separated from his wife in 2002 after 14 years of marriage and was still on good terms with her.

It was a “potent cocktail of circumstances” which brought about a decline in his fortunes.

“This was a destructive relationship,” he said. “He has positive qualities. It was not premeditated. This is the first time he has been convicted of anything approaching this gravity.”

Judge Martin Joy said: “It was quite plainly a savage attack. The gravity of the injury can only be appreciated by those who saw the photographs.

“It is quite clear you behaved in an utterly monstrous fashion towards her.

“Your suggestion her injuries were caused by some people in the street in this quiet village was quite preposterous.”

Judge Joy added: “There has to be a custodial sentence of some length to make it absolutely plain that such violence cannot be tolerated.”

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