Sidmouth rugby ear biting case referred to Crown Court
The case of a former British Army rugby captain accused of biting off part of an opponent's ear during a match has been referred to the Crown Court.
Mark Unsworth was charged with assault causing actual bodily harm to 23-year-old hooker Craig Britton during a game in Devon in October last year.
Mr Unsworth, 38, of Back Lane, Newton Poppleford, Devon, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Exeter magistrates said the case should be heard before a judge and jury.
The incident happened during a match between Sidmouth Rugby Football Club and Avonmouth.
The court was told Sidmouth prop forward Mr Unsworth bit off part of Mr Britton's ear during a scrum, leaving the Avonmouth player with permanent scarring.
Mr Unsworth was given unconditional bail and the case was adjourned until January.