View Full Version : Ear-biting trial

10-Nov-15, 17:24
Assault "totally changed the shape of my left ear" victim tells jury
A MAN has been accused of assaulting a Caithness rugby player by punching him and biting part of his ear off in an incident outside a Wick nightclub.
However, the victim, Michael Duffy, told the court he was so drunk he didn't remember anything of the incident.
He had been celebrating having scored the winning try which took Caithness Rugby Club into the final of a major competition.
Mr Duffy,28, said the first clue that something untoward had happened, was when he came to, in hospital in Wick, and discovered part of his left ear was missing.
In the dock,today, was Alex Dean Pattinson, 22, who denied on indictment, assaulting Mr Duffy to his severe injury, outside the Waterfront nightclub, Wick,on March 30, last year. The accused submitted a special defence of self defence and was later found not guilty of the assault
Mr Duffy, an offshore electrician, said he recalled the start of the match-win celebrations in Thurso but had no recollection of travelling to Wick with some of his mates to continue drinking. He told the jury that the first he realised he was injured was when his ear was being cleaned and bandaged in Caithness General Hospital.
Mr Duffy was invited by fiscal David Barclay to leave the witness box and stand in front of the jury so that they could get a close view of his injured ear.
Mr Duffy told the court that while the wound had healed, the tip of the ear was missing and it was "a totally different shape" from the right one. He took antibiotics for a couple of weeks and had to provide blood test samples for several months.
Cross-examined by solicitor George Mathers, Mr Duffy denied that he was the aggressor in the incident and had assaulted Pattinson after he (the witness) was ejected from the nightclub. Mr Duffy rejected a suggestion that he was "fighting drunk", saying he just couldn't remember.
Replying to Mr Mathers, Mr Duffy said he couldn't remember approaching Mr Pattinson in the nightclub tapping him on the shoulder and punching him in the face and, as a result, being ejected from the nightclub by stewards - or following the accused when he came out and assaulting him.
Pressed by Mr Mathers, Mr Duffy denied "deliberately choosing not to remember" and replied: "I had just drunk too much and can't remember. I don't know if I assaulted him or not."
The accused's brother, Kirstan Pattinson told the jury that they had been out together on the night in question. They ended up at the nightclub and after they left, they were shouted at by a group of people including Mr Duffy who followed them.
Verbal exchanges led to a physical incident during which, he claimed, Mr Duffy, attacked Alex Pattinson grabbing and punching and wrestling with him.
Kirstan Pattinson said that during the brief incident, he was being held back by Mr Duffy's mates. His brother Alex was simply defending himself by trying to punch Mr Duffy back.
After hearing evidence in the afternoon, fiscal David Barclay stated he was no longer seeking a conviction and, as indicated, Alex Pattinson was formally found not guilty by Sheriff Andrew Berry.