25th September 2016
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Attacker ‘almost bit victim’s nose off’

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A man has been warned to expect a prison sentence after he almost bit his assault victim’s nose off and gouged at his eyes.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard Grant Harries acted like a “wild animal” when he grabbed hold of the man’s nose with his teeth and refused to let go in an unexpected assault.

Witnesses trying to pull Harries away from his victim could hear the crunch as cartilage in the victim’s nose was torn.

Harries, 26, of Browns Road, Lerwick, admitted biting the man’s face causing severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

He knocked the man to the ground and repeatedly punched him to the head, before gouging at his eyes.

The victim required five stitches and suffered blood-shot eyes and scratches as a result of the gouging.

The incident happened at Lerwick Boating Club on 6th September last year.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Harries had been drinking to excess. He told the court Harries bore ill will towards his victim, but that there was “no basis” for that.

“Anything that the complainer had done seemed to be based on a drunken misunderstanding that the accused had devised in his head.”

He added Harries had been in an “argumentative mood”. As the complainer was leaving the premises, he made an “innocuous comment” to Harries, which prompted the attack.

Harries struck the complainer and put him off balance, causing him to fall to the ground.

Harries landed on top of him “face to face”.

“He was punching the complainer on the head,” the fiscal told the court.

“Incredibly, he was gouging at his eyes. He bit him. He grabbed hold of his nose with his teeth and wouldn’t let go.

“People were trying to pull him off, and could hear the crunch as the cartilage in the nose was being torn. He very nearly took the nose off the complainer. It was the actions of someone behaving like a wild animal. But people managed to pull him off.”

It was the actions of someone behaving like a wild animal

– DUNCAN MACKENZIE

He said the complainer was taken to hospital where it was clear he had “very significant” injuries.

“A large part of the nose was loose and falling free. There will be permanent disfigurement.”

Mr MacKenzie said Harries was questioned by police, but claimed he had no memory of the event due to his levels of intoxication.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Harries had been on bail since the offence came to light and had co-operated fully.

“He is very aware of the seriousness of this.”

Sheriff Philip Mann deferred sentence on Harries until a social work report could be compiled.

“The purpose of that is that I really need to be considering all options, including a custodial sentence.

“I’m not saying a custodial sentence is inevitable, but I have to say at this present time, having heard the narration, it is uppermost in my mind.”

Harries was granted bail until his next scheduled appearance on 3rd August.