Police officer disfigured after drunk bit off part of his ear after being called to domestic disturbance at a house in West Yorkshire

A police officer was left permanently disfigured after a drunk man bit off part of his ear during a domestic disturbance.

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th December 2020, 9:54 pm

Steven Harrison was jailed for 12 months over the attack on the PC at his home in Pontefract on April 2019 last year.

Leeds Crown Court heard how officers were called to the property on Chequerfield Road after being contacted by the defendant's partner.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said Harrison was drunk when they arrived at the property and his partner wanted him to leave.

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Chequerfield Road, Pontefract

The officers spoke to the 50-year-old in the bedroom and asked him to leave the property.

Mr Smith said Harrison said he needed to find his glasses.

The officers told him they would find them for him if he left the house.

The defendant then became aggressive and bit the officer's ear during a struggle.

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Children were in another room of the house at the time and heard the attack.

The officer needed hospital treatment after a piece of cartilage and soft tissue was torn from the ear.

In a victim statement, the officer described how he still suffers discomfort and had suffered financially as a result of the attack.

Mr Smith said the officer's injury had healed well but had been told he would be permanently disfigured and felt self-conscious as a result of the injury

Harrison pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.

A probation officer told the court that Harrison had said he was "absolutely disgusted" with himself after seeing police bodycam footage of the incident.

The barrister said: "He has done everything he can to change and he realises what a low point he was at at that time.

"Drinking too much was a fundamental flaw in their relationship."

Jailing Harrison, Judge Christopher Batty said: "I am afraid I am going to have to send you to custody.

"The problem is that it was an attack on a police officer in the execution of his duty.

"He was calm, he was polite and he was professional.

"You took a bite out of his ear.

"If people bite a police officer in those circumstances they can expect nothing other than immediate custody.

"Police officers need protection.

"They need to know that the courts have their back if they are attacked unlawfully."

Judge Batty also commended the injured officer for his professionalism during the incident.