A bouncer who bit part of a man's ear off because he was depressed about being told he may have CJD - a form of "mad cow disease" - has been given a three year sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Ken Broe (aged 36), of North Frederick Street, Dublin 1 beat Mr Karl Philips to the ground outside Heaven Nightclub in Blanchardstown on October 23, 2007, before biting his ear lobe off and fleeing.
He later told gardaí he was depressed at the time because he was told he had been given contaminated blood containing the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the human form of "mad cow disease."
Garda Barry Manton said Broe's eight previous convictions included assault, public order offences and criminal damage and he was currently in custody in connection with a separate alleged assault.
Broe pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Philips.
Defence counsel, Mr Remy Farrell BL, said Broe had not been in a position to offer compensation to the victim since Judge Katherine Delahunt released him from custody last October because a business venture he had lined up had not come to fruition.
Mr Farrell asked Judge Delahunt accept that despite this his client had made "very genuine efforts" to get employment.
Judge Delahunt noted from the victim impact report that although the injuries caused to Mr Philips were very serious he has since made a fully recovery.
She said she was taking into account the fact that Broe assaulted his victim while the bouncer was in a position of responsibility, in a job where he had been trained to deal with difficult situations.
Judge Delahunt suspended the last year of the sentence on the condition that Broe keep the peace and be of good behaviour for two years upon his release from prison; "with the hope that you will not come before the courts again," she said.
Gda Manton told prosecuting counsel, Mr Damien Colgan BL, that Mr Philips arrived at the nightclub on October 23, 2007 but was refused entry by a South-African doorman.
He repeatedly asked why he wasn't allowed in and said to Broe, who was also working as a bouncer there: "I'm a Dub and you're a Dub, what's the story?"
Mr Philips and Broe got into a verbal argument. Gda Manton said that at this point, Broe walked around the corner and signalled for Mr Philips to follow him. They began a fist fight and Mr Philips was punched to the ground where Broe continued to hit him before leaning over his head and biting his earlobe off.
The victim said he felt pressure on the side of his head and heard a "crunching sound" followed by severe pain. Broe fled and gardaí arrived shortly after.
Gardaí picked him up near the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre and he admitted the assaualt during interview. He said he was depressed because of the blood tests and that he didn't remember biting Mr Philips' ear off.
He told gardaí: "Again I'm really sorry. I hope the CCTV clears up the ear thing, the camera don't lie."
A victim impact report indicated that Mr Philips suffered minimal psychological damage from the assault. He had reconstructive surgery on his ear but the lobe is still missing.