Footballer’s ear bitten off by team-mate
A TEENAGE footballer had a chunk of his ear bitten off by a team-mate in an on-pitch brawl.
On January 24 at Bristol Crown Court, Lewis Hunt pleaded guilty to causing grievous harm with intent after the attack during a Banwell Reserves match left Stuart Taylor permanently disfigured.
Despite the best efforts of surgeons at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, they were unable to attach the severed part of the ear. Hunt could now face time in jail.
A judge at the court heard the team was 4-3 up against Easton-in-Gordano on April 13 when the incident happened.
The match was nearing its conclusion, but Mr Taylor thought Hunt had been playing selfishly and not passing the ball.
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The 19-year-old said: “I’m quite competitive and passionate, and I was trying to get him to pass the ball more.”
The pair exchanged words and squared up. Hunt told Mr Taylor to ‘come on’, before he tried to defuse the situation by saying they should talk after the match.
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But Mr Taylor says Hunt then took up a ‘boxing position’ and threw a punch at him, which missed. The momentum of the punch took him into Mr Taylor, and they both ended up on the ground brawling.
Mr Taylor, of Whitecross Road, recalled the moment he realised part of his ear had been severed during the scuffle.
He said: “I felt something bite my ear.
“I put my hand up to my face and I could feel something dripping.
“I put my hand further up to my ear and realised that there was a lot of blood and part of my ear was missing.
“I picked it up off the floor and it was still throbbing as he had cut a nerve when he bit it.”
Both players were sent off, although Hunt had already fled the scene, and the match was abandoned.
If the team had held on to its lead, it would have secured promotion, but the match was then awarded to Easton and their promotion hopes were shattered.
Although the victim was taken first to Weston General Hospital and then Frenchay, surgeons were unable to re-attach the severed chunk of the ear.
Midfielder-cum-striker Mr Taylor added: “I have been on anti-depressants since, and I feel very paranoid because of what happened.
“I was banned by the Somerset FA after the incident, and although I love playing football I only do five-a-side now as there’s no heading - I don’t know if I could go up to head the ball against other players any more.”
Hunt, of Milton Brow, Weston, had originally pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea on the day of the trial. Despite changing his plea, the 20-year-old faces up to two years in prison.
At court both Jason Taylor, prosecuting, and Harry Ahuja, defending, agreed that Hunt’s actions had not been pre-meditated and happened in the heat of the moment.
He will be sentenced on March 9.