Thug Michael Vaughan bit a man’s nose after a pub brawl erupted at one of North Staffordshire’s most popular country pubs.
The 30-year-old dad-of-two, who works in fox hunting, became involved in a row in The Wheatsheaf pub, Onneley, at 12.30am.
He grabbed his clothing and pressed him on to a bench before clamping down on the man’s nose leaving him needing stitches at hospital.
Now Vaughan has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Prosecutor Peter Gilmour said trouble flared at The Wheatsheaf pub, Onneley, at 12.30am on April 7, 2018.
Mr Gilmour said: “Vaughan moved quickly to the other man and grabbed his clothing. The man was pressed to a bench.
“Vaughan bit the man’s nose causing quite a nasty injury. A significant flap of skin came away from the nose. He required several stitches and was left with a scar.
“The pub manager heard Vaughan smirking and laughing that he had just bitten the man’s nose.”
The victim told the court: “I was completely sober. Three or four guys were passing a hunting horn around the bar and blowing it. It was quite loud.
“One of the guys had a picture with my friend. She put the drinks down on the table and he grabbed her and stuck his tongue down her throat.
“He was just being boisterous. I decided to go over and ask him to apologise. He came over and apologised. He returned to the bar and I went to give my friend a hug as she was pretty upset.
“At some point he was joined by some other guys. They pointed at my friend. She said, ‘What are you laughing at me for?’.
“One of the guys said, ‘We are laughing at you, not with you’. He was quite loud and aggressive. I just felt like I needed to stand up and defend my friend.
“I said, ‘You better watch who you are talking to’. It escalated. He came at me and pushed me up against a wall and said, ‘Why, why, why’?’.
“He was not happy about what I said. He pushed me up against a wall. He was screaming in my face. I tripped over the arm of the bench and fell on my back on the bench. I landed on my friend.
“He was on top of me. He went in for the bite. He clamped on my nose with his teeth and did not let go for a good 10 or 15 seconds.
“He used a lot of force. As soon as I managed to get up skin was flopping everywhere. Blood was everywhere.”
The man was taken to hospital. In his victim statement he said he suffered a lot of pain which led to him losing sleep. And he has been left with scarring.
The defendant said he acted in self-defence as the other man was choking him.
Vaughan, who now lives in Leicestershire, denied unlawful wounding but was found guilty after a trial.
Paul Cliff, mitigating, conceded the offence crossed the custody threshold but urged Judge David Fletcher to suspend the sentence.
He said: “I do not accept this is a case where drink is a feature in the offending. He had a few shandies over several hours. It is a not a case where someone had 10 pints.”
Mr Cliff added his client has no previous convictions and is a hard working man who works for a prestigious hunt in Leicestershire and has responsibility for more than 120 hounds.
As part of the suspended sentence Vaughan must complete 180 hours unpaid work.
Judge Fletcher said: “You must be sentenced on the basis this was not self defence and the injury caused by you was entirely illegal and wrong.
“There had been an incident earlier on with a man on the periphery of your group. It affected one of the ladies in the company of the complainant. This incident arose. It found you on top of the complainant and you bit him. Biting is the equivalent to the use of a weapon.”
Judge Fletcher ordered Vaughan to pay £1,500 compensation and £2,000 costs.