A father-of-two has been jailed for two years for a savage, unprovoked attack on another man in a pub in which he bit off part of his victim’s nose and spat it out.
Judge Patrick J Moran said: “This was a savage act of violence, a man sitting in a licensed premises with his wife suddenly to be confronted by someone like you and have part of their body bitten off. It is barbaric.
“This was a very nasty act of savagery. People cannot go into licensed premises and behave like animals.”
Det Garda James O’Shea said the attack happened at the Fob and Gill pub in Mayfield, Cork, on Jan 2 last year.
He was it was completely unprovoked and followed a brief verbal exchange that was of little significance.
The detective said Gareth Fitzgerald, aged 32, of, 5 The Erne, Riverside, Rathcormac, Co Cork, leaned over where Kieran O’Leary was sitting, bit off the top of his nose and spat it out. Mr O’Leary has had plastic surgery on the wound.
Judge Moran said: “You approached them and had certain comments to Mrs O’Leary. Mr O’Leary asked you to leave them alone. You said to Mr O’Leary if he did not shut up you would bite his nose off, whereupon you did exactly that.”
Donal O’Sullivan, defending, said Fitzgerald was a hard-working father-of-two who had no previous convictions and had paid €14,500 compensation to the victim. He pleaded with the judge not to jail the defendant. The judge said he had a duty to society to do so.
Recalling the night of this unprovoked attack, Mr O’Leary said yesterday: “Whilst out for a social night with my wife I was seriously assaulted and portion of my nose bitten off by the accused.
“This all happened so suddenly. Immediately after he had bitten my nose he ran away, giving me no chance to ask why, once he had done this cowardly act.
“Apart from biting off a portion of my nose, he also took a piece of my spirit. Prior to this assault I would go to matches with my family and friends, stand on the sideline and shout. I was a very competitive person. I do not do this anymore because I am conscious of people looking at me. This part of my spirit is gone.
“The accused means so little to me because of the hurt and pain he has caused to me and my family. Every time I look in the mirror I find myself looking at my nose and it is a constant reminder. I suffer from nightmares since the assault.
“I will never forget Jan 2, 2012, when the accused assaulted me by biting off the top of my nose. I cannot forgive him. I hope he understands or tries to understand how difficult it has been for me.
“I have read the letter of apology and it means nothing to me. I would much rather genuine regret and remorse in the accused’s eyes. I hate that he has put me in this position. I hate the fact that he has done this to me.
“I hope he has learned from this but I keep wondering why someone who I just knew to see could do such a vicious unprovoked assault on me.”