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Part of man's ear bitten off in Telford town centre street brawl

Telford | News | Published:

Four men have been sentenced for their roles in a Telford town centre brawl that led to part of a man's ear being bitten off.

The fight happened in the town centre in February 2015.

William Rashleigh, 26, of Stirchley, Telford, had admitted affray and assault, while the other three admitted assault.

Mr Tariq Shakoor told Shrewsbury Crown Court that words had been exchanged between Rashleigh and another man, Steven Cresswell, who was with his friends on a night out.

Rashleigh went to a nearby bar but in the early hours of the following morning violence broke out in the street near to The Thomas Botfield pub.

Mr Shakoor said a number of men started fighting and during the brawl Mr Cresswell was punched to the floor, before Rashleigh jumped on top of him.

There was a scuffle on the floor before Rashleigh bit Mr Cresswell's left ear.

Mr Shakoor said Mr Cresswell experienced a "sharp, burning pain" after discovering part of his ear had been bitten off.

He said: "There was an attempt to stitch back part of the ear bitten off but that was not successful."

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During the fight, Matthew McLafferty, 25, of Bullrush Glade, St Georges, was also seen putting a man into a headlock and punching him.

The court also heard that William McKee, 32, of Goodyear Way, Donnington, had thrown a punch, while Luke Morris, 33, of Rhodes Avenue, Dawley, stamped on a man.

Mr Shakoor said the defendants were aware police and an ambulance had been called and left the scene but were arrested nearby.

Mr Delroy Henry, defending, said Rashleigh had apologised about what happened.

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He said: "He is disgusted with himself. He's more than willing to pay compensation."

The court heard Morris said the fight had taken place when he was drunk and he did not recall stamping on anyone but accepted he had.

The court was told McKee had mental health issues and McLafferty showed "deep remorse".

Sentencing them, Judge Jim Tindal said: "This sort of offence is depressingly common. What happens is young men go out, get drunk and because of some slight beef they have with someone else they meet there, there is a disproportionate reaction, people lose their temper and they become violent."

Rashleigh was given a one-year prison sentence suspended for two years, told to do 150 hours unpaid work, pay £600 compensation and £500 costs.

The other three were given 12-month community orders.

McLafferty was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay £500 costs, Morris was told to do 200 hours unpaid work and pay £500 costs, and McKee will have to undergo 12-months supervision and pay £350 costs.

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