Ear-biter caged for three years

David Burdon
David Burdon

A THUG who bit part of a doorman’s ear off in a savage attack is today starting a three-year jail sentence.

David Burdon sank his teeth into the ear of Hartlepool door supervisor Michael Cranney as the innocent victim waited for a takeaway.

Mr Cranney’s left ear lobe was bitten clean off along with the lower part of his ear.

Teesside’s most senior judge said Burdon, 19, who had downed 15 cans of lager and taken drugs on the night of the attack, had behaved like an “animal”.

Mr Cranney, 32, was trying to protect his fiance Dawn Arnell from Burdon’s drunken abuse when he was attacked.

The couple had gone with friends to Sheara’s takeaway in Church Street at around 4am on February 4 after finishing work.

Mr Cranney intervened when Miss Arnell challenged Burdon about his behaviour towards her.

Jacqueline Edwards, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: “He went to leave when he was hit twice by the defendant.

“As a result of being struck, Mr Cranney grabbed hold of the defendant trying to prevent him from hitting him.

“They both fell to the floor and while on the ground the defendant sank his teeth on the left ear of Mr Cranney.

“Mr Cranney described hearing a crunching noise where the defendant’s teeth were clamped onto his ear.”

He called police and was taken to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

As Burdon was being arrested he said to police: “He’s lucky I didn’t bite his face off.”

The court heard Mr Cranney suffers panic attacks, blurred vision, lack of sleep and headaches.

Burdon, an unemployed dad of one, of Purves Place, Hartlepool, admitted grievous bodily harm.

Tamara Pawson, mitigating, said his behaviour was “nothing more than the idiotic actions of a drunk”.

She added: “He is sorry for the harm caused to the complainant, not merely for the position he finds himself in.

“He wouldn’t have behaved this way sober.”

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Peter Fox, said he gave Burdon credit for his early guilty plea.

But he added: “You must realise this offending is close to the very worst offence of its type. “This was a savage and animal thing to do. It’s had a dire effect on him.”