Thug bit man's ear off and spat it onto floor of Morley pub in unprovoked attack

Joseph Lowther
Joseph Lowther

A man had his ear bitten off by a drunken thug in an unprovoked attack in a Leeds pub.

Joseph Lowther bit into the victim’s ear without warning and spat it onto the floor at the Slip Inn, Albion Street, Morley.

Slip Inn, Morley

Slip Inn, Morley

Bar staff packed the victim’s ear into a glass with ice in a bid to save it but it could not be sawn back on by surgeons.

Lowther, 25, was given an extended jail sentence of nine years, nine months, after a judge said he considered him to pose a serious danger to the public.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the attack took place on the evening of February 20 this year.

Heather Gilmore, prosecuting, said Lowther was seen drinking three double vodka and cokes in 20 minutes shortly before the attack.

Bar staff had refused to serve him because he was swaying on his feet.

Ms Gilmore said the defendant approached the victim as he was taking to people at the bar.

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Lowther put his arm around his shoulder and the two men shook hands.

The prosecutor said: “When the complainant thought he was being friendly the defendant then bit part of his ear off.

“The pain was immediate and excruciating.”

Lowther was stopped from leaving the pub by other people and police were called.

He claimed he carried out the attack when the victim came at him with a bottle.

The victim spent two days in hospital but the ear could not be reattached.

Ms Gilmore said the wound was stitched but he now has a significant part of his ear missing and has been left permanently disfigured.

Lowther, of Springbank Crescent, Gildersome, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He has previous convictions for unprovoked violence, including kicking a cyclist off his bike in the street for no reason.

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Charlotte Rimmer, mitigating, said Lowther's violent offences were linked to drink and drugs.

She said: "He should have been the better man and walked away. He will learn a hard lesson as a result of that.

"He wakes up thinking about this most days.

"It is not something he has tried to avoid."

Lowther was told he must serve a custodial term of six years, nine months, of which he must serve at least two-thirds in jail.

He will then serve an extended licence period of three years.

Judge Simon Batiste said: "In my judgement you bit this man's ear off, or a significant portion of it, in a wholly unprovoked attack.

"This is not the first time you have used unprovoked violence.

"Because the significant portion of his ear was bitten off, it is clear he will be left with some very unsightly injuries for the rest of his life."