Ear bite attacker jailed

Danny Hancock
Danny Hancock

A thug with a history of violence attacked a man on a night out in Daventry town centre and bit off part of his ear.

Danny Hancock, 26, had drunk 15 pints of lager when he launched an unprovoked attack upon Graham Hodgson on Saturday, August 18.

He was jailed for four years and eight months at Northampton Crown Court after pleading guilty to wounding with intent.

Matthew Lowe, prosecuting, said: “Mr Hodgson was out for a night in the centre of Daventry with two friends. That group of three, including Mr Hodgson, passed another group of young men; a member of that group was Mr Hancock.

“The defendant was recognised by Mr Hodgson’s two companions and there was a clash of shoulders, possibly deliberately between two members of the groups and words were exchanged between them.

“Mr Hodgson turned round to see what was happening and almost immediately was punched in the face by the defendant which was hard enough to knock him to the floor. Having put him to the floor, the defendant got on top of him and began punching him repeatedly and forcefully to the head and face area. There were at least five blows but one witness said it could have been up to seven blows.

“Mr Hodgson tried to fight back but with limited effect because the defendant was on top of him.

“He then saw, or more specifically felt, the defendant lean in towards his face and bite at his right ear. Mr Hodgson’s companions intervened and the defendant got up and made his way from the scene, walking off relatively casually.”

Mr Lowe said the victim, who had blood pouring from his ear, suffered a black eye as well as cuts and abrasions to most of his body. He also sustained a tear to his ear where Hancock had bitten part of it off, permanently scaring him.

The court heard Hancock was arrested later that day in Sherwood Rise, Daventry and claimed he acted in self defence.

Mr Lowe said: “He denied he bit the ear and what he said to the police was that the idea of anyone doing it was ‘sick’, in his words.”

Hancock, of Elizabeth Road, The Headlands, Daventry was jailed yesterday having pleaded guilty earlier this month.

The court heard how he was previously convicted of assault in 2001 and again in 2004, detained for two months later that year for inflicting actual bodily harm and of battery in March 2011.

Passing sentence, Recorder Nicholas Syfret QC said the sentence would have been seven years had Hancock been convicted after a trial.

He said: “You have had a significant number of previous court appearances, many of them for offences of violence, but nothing remotely approaching the seriousness of the offence to which you have pleaded guilty.

“It is an offence which caused the victim not only real physical pain by biting off part of his ear, but you caused him considerable mental torment. There was no conceivable excuse for what you did.

“I have seen the victim impact statement and it is quite obvious the distress you caused to your victim is going to be for a long time.”

Maxine Krone, mitigating, said Hancock had fallen in with a heavy drinking peer group and consumed 15 pints of lager that night.

She added: “He is thoroughly ashamed of what he did and knows he needs some assistance with his drinking.”