Tuesday 18 December 2018

Man who bit off another man's ear in pub smoking area jailed for five years

Ardlea Inn, Maryfield Avenue, Dublin 5
Ardlea Inn, Maryfield Avenue, Dublin 5

Fiona Ferguson

A man convicted of biting off part of another man's ear in a pub smoking area has been jailed for five years.

Sean Jackson (27), who was highly intoxicated, had no recollection of the events of the night in question and his lawyers submitted it was completely out of character for him.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the victim was using the outside smoking area of a pub when Jackson bent down and bit part of his ear off. A witness saw part of the ear on the ground and alerted gardai.

Jackson, of Doon Court, Ballymun, Dublin was convicted by a jury following a trial earlier this year of assaulting the man causing him serious harm at Ardlea Inn, Maryfield Avenue, Dublin 5 on August 23, 2014. Jackson has 24 previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan noted that there had been a very minor altercation between the victim and Jackson. He said Jackson had been dissatisfied with the interaction and returned outside.

He said it appeared that the victim thought Jackson was going to say something to him but instead Jackson bit a large part of his ear off.

A witness identified Jackson as having committed the assault. He noted Jackson was drunk but said he had been responsible for getting himself into that state.

Judge Nolan said it was a serious assault which had serious consequences for the victim. He said it was “reprehensible” to bite part of  someone's ear off. He said he was taking seven years as his starting point for a sentence and noted there was “moderate mitigation.” Judge Nolan imposed a five year sentence.

Defence counsel, Colman Fitzgerald SC, said Jackson had been extremely intoxicated at the time and did not remember the events of the night.

He said it was an “appalling offence” and an act which “would revolt anyone.”

He noted the contents of the victim impact statement outlined that the top half of one of the injured party's ears was now missing. He noted that the impact had been devastating from the victim's point of view.

Counsel said the offence was completely out of character for Jackson and drink had been a huge factor.

“This appears to be significantly out of character and an anomaly as regards to the rest of his life which has been by and large decent and productive,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

He said Jackson was a young man who always made a significant effort to work and had been in employment pretty much all his life. He handed in testimonials on Jackson's behalf.

Marie Torrens BL, prosecuting, handed in a victim impact statement which was not read in open court.

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