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Fighter jailed for biting off ear and hiding it in pants

A young man who bit off a portion of another man's ear during a fight and then put it "in his jocks" in panic when gardai arrived has been given a five-year sentence.

Declan McCann (22) has expressed remorse and told gardai he believed he had been defending himself. He had €5,000 compensation in court.

Doctors were unable to attach the missing portion of the man's ear and he has been left permanent disfigured.

McCann, of Upper Sean McDermott Street, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm at Mountjoy Square South on September 26, 2008.

McCann has 16 previous convictions. Two co-accused received sentences of 18 months suspended on charges of violent disorder.

Judge Tony Hunt imposed a five-year sentence but suspended the final three years.

Garda Lee Doyle told Roisin Lacey, prosecuting, that Liam Lawlor and two friends were walking home after a night out when there was some shouting exchanged between them and a group of youths on the opposite footpath. A fight then started.

Mr Lawlor's friend, Gavin Tyrrell, said the shouting had not been aggressive until he was approached and hit to the face and then they all seemed to come at him from different angles.


He estimated the fight lasted 15 minutes.

He said Mr Lawlor was being hit to the head and face.

A taxi driver said the three men fighting back seemed to be defending themselves and swinging a belt. He said the fight stopped and the youths walked away but then two of them came back and were fighting with two other men who looked exhausted.

Another witness said he saw a man who had come over to a male lying on the ground and stamp on his head.

He described the males who were being attacked as "drunk and sloppy".

Garda Doyle said when he arrived he observed blood on the mouth and cheek of McCann who told him he had been defending himself and his friends. He saw Mr Lawlor had three quarters of his left ear missing and asked McCann if he knew where the ear was.

Initially McCann denied knowing where the ear was but then told gardai it was "in his jocks".

Gardai pulled back the waistband of McCann's tracksuit and removed the portion of ear. McCann later made a statement in the garda station saying he had bitten the man's ear.

McCann said he believed he was defending himself. He later said the victim was on top of him when he bit his ear and he did not mean to do it.