Tayside and Central Scotland

Man bit off stranger's ear in Perth bar

Ryan Buchanan
Image caption Ryan Buchanan flew into a rage when he was refused a drink, the court heard

A joiner who ripped part of a stranger's ear off with his teeth after being refused a drink in a Perth pub has been jailed for 20 months.

The strip of Richard Heaney's ear was found lying on the bar floor by police after he was attacked by Ryan Buchanan.

Buchanan, 30, from Perth, admitted assaulting Mr Heaney in the Royal Bar on 13 February.

He was also ordered to attend anger management classes and alcohol counselling.

Perth Sheriff Court heard how Buchanan flew into a rage when he was told he was not being served and turned his anger on Mr Heaney, who was sitting on his own at the bar.

Fiscal depute Lucy Keane said: "Buchanan was told he wasn't going to be served by staff. He took exception to this and became verbally abusive. Mr Heaney turned to him and told him there was no need for his behaviour.

"In response, Buchanan began punching him on the head and body. Mr Heaney tried to defend himself but was unable to do so. He ended up on the floor."

Recovered ear

Ms Keane said Buchanan continued punching him while other patrons in the pub tried to intervene and pull him away. Eventually, Mr Heaney managed to get up to his feet, but was then bitten by Buchanan.

The strip of Mr Heaney's ear was found lying on the floor a few feet from where he was sitting, the court heard.

Ms Keane added: "It had been bitten off and exposed the cartilage. He required to undergo surgery to close the wound to his ear and that required about 20 stitches in total.

The victim was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee with the recovered ear, but doctors decided it would not be beneficial to reattach it.

The court was told he lost a part of his ear measuring one and a half inches long by half an inch wide and is permanently scarred.

Sheriff Michael Fletcher told Buchanan: "This was an unprovoked assault, taking place in a bar where you knew you were banned, and when you were refused service in a way you would have expected to happen.

"Instead of leaving, you ended up assaulting a complete stranger, a bystander, in a very serious way.

"This is a case which cannot be dealt with any other way than by a custodial sentence."

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