Former soldier jailed over ear bite attack

A Ministry of Defence policeman cheated the taxpayer out of 47,000 by fiddling his expenses when he was transferred to work in Yorkshire, a court heard.
A Ministry of Defence policeman cheated the taxpayer out of 47,000 by fiddling his expenses when he was transferred to work in Yorkshire, a court heard.

A former soldier bit off part of a man’s ear during a drunken town centre brawl, a court heard.

Ryan Towning, 32, was locked up of two years, three months over the attack in Castleford.

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim was attacked when he tried to intervene in an argument between Towning and a woman in the early hours of July 16 last year.

Anthony Moore, prosecuting, said the victim asked Towning to calm down as the young woman appeared to be “cowering” away from him during the argument.

Mr Moore said Towning then turned his aggression towards the victim and began swearing and throwing punches at him.

A brawl then followed between the two men. The prosecutor said Towning grabbed the victim in a bear hug and bit his ear.

Part of the ear came away during the attack and the victim required stitches.

Towning left the scene with a number of other men after the incident.

Towning, of Love Lane, Castleford, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.

He has previous convictions for offences of violence.

Jeremy Barton, mitigating, said Towning was sorry for what he had done.

The barrister said Towning had intended to cause pain but not injury to the other man during the brawl. Mr Barton said Towning had spent five years in the army, which included tours of Iraq and Northern Ireland.

Mr Barton said his client often struggled to cope with difficult situations as a result of his experiences in the forces.

He added: “There have been occasions when he has reacted badly and showed some issues with anger. It is something the defendant has been seeking help with.” Jailing Towning, judge James Spencer, QC, said: “You bit his ear and part of it came off. It was an ugly, ugly case of wounding.”

Sarah Sordy of Mars Petcare in Birstall

Meet the team behind Yorkshire’s petfood powerhouse