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Man bit 'chunk' from his housmate's broken ankle


John Hanley

John Hanley

John Hanley

A man who "bit a chunk" of flesh from his housemate's broken ankle has avoided a conviction after paying €2,000 in compensation.

Sales representative John Hanley (37) bit into the man's ankle, which had minutes earlier suffered a "catastrophic" fracture as the two men scuffled.

Hanley also headbutted his housemate in the face as he lay injured on his bed, leaving him covered in blood.

Dublin District Court heard the attack happened after the victim, Michael Ryan, accidentally locked the front door while Hanley was out.

Previously, Mr Ryan told the court he put the internal lock on out of habit.

Hanley returned home "quite enraged" and Mr Ryan was taken aback by his "immense anger".

Hanley pulled him to the ground, where Ryan suffered a broken ankle, he said.

The bone was left almost protruding through the skin.

Mr Ryan said he hopped upstairs to his bedroom. However, Hanley came in, grabbed Mr Ryan by the shirt and headbutted him.

"I was flung back on the bed, completely covered in blood," he said. "He grabbed my ankle, aware that it was broken, and bit down into the broken ankle and removed a chunk of skin."


The defendant was found guilty at Dublin District Court of assault causing harm to Mr Ryan at the house they shared at Seaview Avenue, East Wall, on April 21, 2012.

Judge Dermot Dempsey dismissed the charge under the Probation Act after the compensation was paid.

The accused, a father of one, had denied the charge. He claimed he never bit Mr Ryan and only headbutted him in self defence. He was not charged in relation to the broken ankle.