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Craigavon man who ripped off part of man’s ear with pliers jailed for four-and-a-half years

Officers called to the scene noticed he had multiple injuries to his head, including a gash above his right eye and the top of his left ear was missing.

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A Craigavon man has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison after ripping off part of a man’s ear with a pair of pliers.

Ordering Dylan Mawhinney to serve half that sentence in jail and half on licence, Judge Patrick Lynch KC said the pliers “were retrieved by police along with the part of the ear which had been severed from the victim’s body”.

“Simply saying these facts gives an indication of what the horror of the situation must have been,” said the judge.

“To take pliers and then cut somebody else’s body is an appalling act of violence perpetrated on this victim.”

Mawhinney, from Clanrolla Park in Craigavon, had earlier entered a guilty plea to a single charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent during an incident on November 10, last year.

Prosecuting counsel Nicola Auret told Craigavon Crown Court how the heavily intoxicated victim had been drinking in the back yard of his home at the time of the incident.

After going inside, “he became aware of a male entering through the back door and he recognised this male as the defendant”.

“The defendant hit him on the head, and he fell to the floor where the defendant then kicked and punched him all over the head and body,” said the barrister, adding that the victim did not remember anything else until he regained consciousness while in an ambulance.

Ms Auret told the court, that officers called to the scene noticed that he had multiple injuries to his head, including a gash above his right eye and the top of his left ear was missing.

Officers found it lying on the kitchen bench, beside a pair of yellow and black handled pliers.

Initially, Mawhinney refused to answer police questions but later admitted that he had assaulted the victim and had used the pliers to rip off part of his ear.

Continually referring to the victim in “highly derogatory terms”, he told officers he was “off his head and that he has a very, very bad temper”.

He also admitted that after the victim punched him once, “he kept beating him and beating him — he just flipped”.

Ms Auret submitted that the use of a weapon was an aggravating factor, in addition to Mawhinney’s 41 previous convictions, and the fact he was on bail and prison release licence for an aggravated burglary when he committed the offence.

Revealing that Mawhinney cannot remember the incident, defence counsel Connor Lunny told the court he had been instructed “from the outset to apologise formally to the victim and the court for what it’s worth”.

Jailing Mawhinney, Judge Lynch said as well as psychological scars, his victim has been left with “permanent disfigurement” and scarring which are a constant reminder of the horrific attack.

He warned the defendant while he was not assessing him as a significant risk of harm to the public, “it was a close call” and if he committed any further violent offences that could result in an assessment of dangerousness and lead to enhanced sentencing powers.

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