Man jailed for biting ex’s ear in sustained attack

A man who carried out a sustained violent attack on his ex-girlfriend during which he bit her ear has been sentenced to four years.

Robert Melia, aged 32, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Elizabeth Clifford, then 25, on June 29, 2012. Melia and the victim were in an on-off relationship at the time.

Garda Nollaig Meaney told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting that Melia called to Ms Clifford’s house at 1am. She allowed him to use the bathroom but asked him to leave because he had been drinking.

Melia then came into her sitting room and called her “a fucking bitch” before he hit her “out of nowhere” to the side of her head.

Gda Meaney agreed with Ms McGowan that what followed could only be described as “a sustained attack” during which Melia threatened her: “I am only warming up. You are going to die.”

The victim later told gardaí it felt like her head was going to explode. She curled up and tried to get away from him but he demanded she turn around before he bit her right ear.

Melia then locked his jaw onto Ms Clifford’s ear and shook his head in what she described as an attempt to bite her ear off.

He then ran off to the kitchen and she managed to escape into the garden.

The gardaí were contacted and Melia was arrested at the scene after being restrained by local people. He later claimed he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs and had no recollection of the incident.

Ms Clifford needed stitches and had to undergo plastic surgery.

Judge Martin Nolan described the attack as “a violent and serious assault”.

He suspended the final 18 months on strict conditions.


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