Man bit off ear and spat it on pub floor

Brian Southall from Langlees was sentenced at Stirling Sheriff Court today
Brian Southall from Langlees was sentenced at Stirling Sheriff Court today

An electronics engineer who bit off part of another man’s ear and spat it onto a pub floor has been jailed for 18 months.

Brian Southall (48) chewed a two-and-a-half by one-and-a-half centimetre chunk off Andrew Oliver’s right ear, exposing the cartilage.

A court heard it had been “an inappropriate reaction” to Mr Oliver (49) putting his arms round Southall’s girlfriend while they were dancing.

Stirling Sheriff Court was today told that the incident happened in The Railway Tavern, Falkirk after both men had been drinking.

Laura Knox, prosecuting, said Southall had initially said nothing when Mr Oliver, who was a regular in the bar, danced with his partner and then sat back down.

Later, however, he went to speak to him.

Mrs Knox said: “The accused stood up, walked over to Mr Oliver and appeared to be whispering to him.”

The depute fiscal said Mr Oliver, who had drunk up to 10 pints of lager, was too drunk to remember what Southall had said, but the pair started arguing.

Mrs Knox said: “The accused then leaned into Mr Oliver and bit off the fleshy part of his ear, which he spat onto the floor.”

Police were called and Southall left, while Mr Oliver was seen by paramedics.

He refused to go to hospital, however, and went home while police retrieved the missing part of his ear from a pool of blood on the floor.

When he attended hospital later, after waking in pain, it could not be reattached, but he was given antibiotics and a Hepatitis B vaccination.

Southall, of Langlees, who fled the area, was identified from CCTV.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Oliver to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement in the November 6, 2015 incident.

Gordon Addision, defending, said Southall was “contrite”.

He said: “There’s no doubt that this man’s reaction to Mr Oliver’s behaviour towards him and his partner was out of kilter.

“He realises the way he reacted was grossly inappropriate.”

The defence agent added: “There’s also no doubt this pub is one of the tougher loci in Falkirk. It’s not the sort of place you’d walk into off the street and expect the sort of welcome you’d get in other pubs.

“It’s a tough old place.”

The court heard that Southall had a record of violence.

Imposing the jail term, Sheriff Wyllie Robertson said: “This sort of offence – biting a man’s ear off – is such that the only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”