Friday, March 9, 2012
A SELFISH footballer who bit off a chunk of his own team-mate’s ear after being accused of not passing the ball enough has been jailed for 21 months.
The Mercury reported in January how midfielder Lewis Hunt, 20, launched a vicious assault on striker Stuart Taylor, 19, during a crucial promotion clash in the pair’s amateur league.
He shoved his team-mate to the floor before clamping his jaws around his ear and tearing off a one-and-a-half inch piece of flesh.
Surgeons were unable to re-attach the severed tissue and Mr Taylor has been left scarred for life.
On Friday, Hunt was sentenced to 21 months in a young offenders’ institute by a judge at Bristol Crown Court after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Taylor said: “He deserved to go to prison for what he has done - it was animalistic.
“He has left me permanently scarred and there’s not a day that goes by where I do not think about him and what he has done.
“It was only a game of football after all.”
The ugly incident unfolded during a Saturday league clash between Hunt and Taylor’s Banwell Reserves and Easton-in-Gordano last year.
Banwell - who needed to win to secure promotion - were 4-3 up after Mr Taylor bagged a hat-trick.
But the troubled flared when ball-hogging Hunt began refusing to pass to his team-mates. When Mr Taylor challenged him, the pair clashed violently and fell to the ground fighting.
Mr Taylor, of Whitecross Road in Weston, said: “After he ran off I put my hand up to my face and I could feel something dripping. I realised I had blood coming out of me.
“One of my team-mates then pointed to the floor and said ‘there’s your ear’. I was totally shocked.”
The referee red-carded both players and abandoned the match - awarding it to Easton and shattering Banwell’s promotion dream.
Prosecutor Jason Taylor said: “This has had a profound effect on Mr Taylor. He is conscious that if he looks to start a relationship people will be put off by his deformity or people will think he is a troublemaker.”
Harry Ahuja, defending Hunt, said his client is ‘disgusted’ by what he had done and had vowed never to play football again.
Hunt’s mum sobbed in court as His Honour Judge Simon Darwall-Smith sentenced the Milton Brow factory worker to time behind bars.
He said: “This was an uncontrollable loss of temper over a player on your own side.
“You have got to learn to keep your temper and act as a good sportsman whatever sport you are playing.”