No jail for biting off part of man’s ear

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A FOOTBALL supporter who dared pub customers to a fight had part of his ear bitten off by a rugby fan who then 
swallowed it.

Alastair Park, a prisoner in Saughton, was ordered to perform 160 hours of unpaid work at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday after earlier pleading guilty to assaulting Graeme Aitken to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement at Whispers in High Street, Tranent, on April 29 this year.

The court heard that Mr Aitken, a Rangers supporter, had spent the day in another pub watching an Old Firm match. He then entered Whispers and walked around the bar and dancefloor area, goading and challenging customers to fight him.

He and Park then began a fight, during which Park bit off part of Mr Aitken’s ear.

Mr Aitken was ejected from the pub and CCTV footage showed Park swallowing the bit of ear.

Defence solicitor Mark Hutchison said he had received several letters from local people offering their support to his client, adding that one of them described Park as “a very talented plasterer”.

Sheriff Jarvie agreed that the victim had been “no angel”, but added it was “a pretty unsavoury offence”.

She said that, taking into account that Park’s last conviction had been almost a decade ago, his early guilty plea and the letters of support, she was not going to jail him.