Man tells how girlfriend ‘bit off’ tip of his nose

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A MAN has told a court of the moment his girlfriend bit off the tip of his nose during a drunken argument.

But John Brown, of Livingston, claimed it was his fault that he now had a red nose and permanent scarring where the missing part was stitched back on.

The 23-year-old said he squashed his nose into Terie Ann Harkins’ mouth then slammed her bottom jaw shut with his hand.

He played down the seriousness of the injury commenting: “It’s OK.

“I know I’m no oil painting so it doesn’t bother me as much.”

Harkins, of Nelson Avenue, Livingston, had denied assaulting Mr Brown near his home by striking him on the head with a mobile phone and biting off a section of his nose, all to his injury and permanent disfigurement.

She was formally acquitted of the indictment charge at Livingston Sheriff Court on Tuesday after the Crown decided not to lead any further witnesses in the light of his testimony.

Giving evidence, Mr Brown said he’d drunk a bottle of rose wine and two pints of cider before he and Harkins began arguing.

He said they were in the street outside his home both shouting angrily and calling each other “nasty” names and she was trying to leave.

He said: “She was crying and I walked up to her – it was face on – still screaming at her.

“I put my hands on either side of her head just to get her to listen to me, to come back.

“She kept saying ‘let me go’ and I gave her a bit of a slap to the side of the head.

“I remember pressing my face against hers and she said ‘let me go or I’ll bite your nose’.

“I said ‘go for it then’ and squashed my nose into her mouth then whacked her mouth shut.”

He showed the jury how he had brought his right hand sharply upwards and struck Harkins under the chin.

He said both he and the accused fell to the ground, but when he went to help her get up she started screaming.

“She said ‘Your face!’ She was right upset, like worried.

“I put my hand to my nose and said: ‘what do you mean Terie?’ and she said: ‘Blood!”.

“I looked into a car mirror and saw blood from my nose. It wasn’t sore, it just felt like a nosebleed.”

He said it was only after police and paramedics arrived that he discovered the tip of his nose had been severed.

It was stitched back on by surgeons in an operation at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

Harkins wept with relief after Sheriff Susan Craig told her she was free to go. As she left court Harkins commented: “I’m very happy.”