A drunken thug who bit off part of a teenager’s ear during an unprovoked attack in Halifax town centre has been jailed for nine years and nine months.
David Holroyd subjected his 17-year-old victim to “vile racist abuse” during the confrontation near to McDonald’s in Old Market last November and while the teenager was on the ground the 34-year-old stonemason bit off the outer part of his left ear and spat it out.
Prosecutor Alexander Menary told Bradford Crown Court that the teenager screamed out for help and was assisted by staff from the restaurant.
The court heard that although the piece of ear was recovered from the street it was not possible to reattach it and the teenager was now permanently disfigured.
In a victim impact statement the teenager described feeling anxious and paranoid when he was out in public and added:”I just don’t understand why he would bite my ear off.”
Holroyd, of Catherine Street, Elland, pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and the court heard that back in 2016 he was given a suspended prison sentence of 10 months for another violent attack during which he had tried to bite a man’s ear.
After his arrest Holroyd told police he had been drinking since lunchtime that day and had no recollection of the attack which happened at about 9pm.
Barrister Stephen Wood, for Holroyd, conceded it was an abhorrent offence and his client’s only mitigation was his guilty plea.
“I submit that your honour can accept his expressions of remorse are genuine,” he told Judge Jonathan Rose.
“He’s sorry for what he did to a 17-year-old boy.”
Mr Wood said Holroyd was a stonemason by profession, but in 2016 he was devastated by the end of a relationship and he went into downward spiral involving drink and drugs.
Judge Rose said the teenager had been going about his business that night when Holroyd subjected him to deeply unpleasant and vile racist abuse.
“You started with verbal abuse and then when he stood up to you you unleashed unpleasant violence upon him with punches,” said Judge Rose.
“You put him to the ground and then when you had him on the ground you bit his ear.”
Judge Rose said that at that moment Holroyd had ruined the teenager’s life physically and psychologically.
The judge accepted that Holroyd had suffered difficulties, but said they did not justify or mitigate a deliberate attack on a 17-year-old boy with the savagery which he had displayed.
He said Holroyd would come out of prison and be able to rebuild his life, but the teenager would never be able to rebuild his ear and who knows what the state of his confidence would be in the years to come.
The judge concluded that Holroyd was a dangerous offender and he imposed an extended licence period of four years which would come into effect following his release from prison.
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