A thug has been jailed for biting off part of a soldier’s ear in a shocking Hull nightclub attack.
The victim was trying to calm down Antoni Mercer, 28, in the ATIK venue on November 29 last year when he suddenly ripped away his ear.
Hull Crown Court was shown CCTV footage of the gruesome attack, which happened in a matter of seconds.
The victim, who lost 30% of his ear, only realised the damage when a pal said his ‘ear was missing’.
This week Mercer, from Hull, was sentenced to 30 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to grevious bodily harm.
Prosecutor Stephen Robinson said: ‘As the court can see from the CCTV footage the complainant goes over to speak to the defendant.
‘As he is tall, he bends down to speak to the defendant and he is bitten on the ear and he falls to the floor.
‘As a result of this [injuries], the victim can no longer wear headphones, struggles to wear a helmet, which obviously, being a soldier this is important and has trouble sleeping.
‘It is particularly painful to him on cold days.’
Despite attempts to reattach the piece of ear, surgeons could not perform the operation and the victim was left with a ‘permanent disfigurement’.
He said in a statement: ‘Every time I am in a restaurant or a public place I think that people are looking at me.
‘I have trouble sleeping and the area of the top of my right ear is still painful to touch.’
The victim had been for a meal with friends while undergoing his Army training at the Leconfield base.
He wanted to speak with Mercer after he ‘believed there was a problem brewing’, the court was told.
Mercer had past convictions for violence, the court heard.
He punched and stamped on a man in 2012 and head-butted a policeman. He also has a battery conviction.
Richard Thompson, defending, said Mercer was remorseful for his actions and hoped that he would make a small amends with a large compensation contribution.
Judge John Thackray, QC, told Mercer: ‘Before the victim came over to you, there was no justification in the attack.
‘He is missing 30 per cent of the external part of his ear because of what you did.
‘The offence which you caused had a profound effect on him.
‘The only way I can deal with this is an immediate custodial sentence.’