Rugby player accused of ear bite attack cleared

Related Stories

A rugby player accused of biting off part of an opponent's ear in a scrum has been cleared of unlawful wounding.

Exeter Crown Court had heard Sidmouth prop Mark Unsworth, 39, bit the right ear of Avonmouth hooker Craig Britton at a match in 2010.

But Judge Phillip Wassall told the jury to return a not guilty verdict after hearing evidence Mr Britton tampered with website pictures of the game.

The judge said it had undermined the reliability of Mr Britton's testimony.

Two-year ban

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard Mr Britton lost the tip of his ear in a collapsed scrum during a South West One league game between Sidmouth and Bristol's Avonmouth Old Boys on 23 October 2010.

The missing part of his ear was never found.

Former soldier Mr Unsworth, of Newton Poppleford in Devon, claimed the injury was caused by a clash of heads or the stud of another player's boot.

However, he was banned from rugby for two years in 2011 after an inquiry by the RFU and an appeal hearing at Twickenham.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Devon



12 °C 11 °C

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • MouseEscape the rat race

    Burnt out? Meet the workers who took more than a vacation - and changed their lives


  • (File photo) A man dressed as Father Christmas with a sleigh and a reindeer Click Watch

    A website which tracks Father Christmas, plus other sites and apps to keep you entertained

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.