‘My brother brought my tongue in a jar of ice’ – victim speaks out after horror attack

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A DAD who had his tongue bitten off when he was attacked in a pub blasted the judge after she freed his attacker.

John Dufton was stunned when brute David Greaves was let off despite a record of violence and the judge telling him the assault was “truly horrific”.

And he was appalled when jubilant Greaves then celebrated outside court by sticking his tongue out and laughing: “I’m tongue-twisted.”

Furious John said: “That just shows what kind of man he is.

“I wish the judge could have seen that before she decided to let him go but I doubt it would have changed things.”

Judge Gillian Matthews, QC, hit the headlines when she freed a pervert who claimed his seven-year-old girl victim came on to him.

John, 33, was attacked by Greaves, 49, in May after a long-running feud between their families.

He said: “I went to my local pub for a drink and was outside talking to some friends when he turned up and barged past me as he walked inside.

“A bit later, all of my friends went inside the bar so I went with them. I sat in a position where I could clearly see him because he isn’t the kind of man you would want to turn your back on.

“He started shouting abuse at me so I shouted back at him. This went on for a couple of minutes and then he came across and attacked me.

“He head-butted me and punched me. I punched him back in self-defence and we fell to the floor.

“I told him to get out of the bar so we went out together and he was shouting abuse at me again.

“We grabbed hold of each other again and were wrestling. As we fell to the floor he was underneath and I was on top of him.

“He grabbed hold of my face and shoved his thumbs into my eyes, trying to gouge them out. I couldn’t feel any pain because of the adrenalin.

“He then must have pulled my head towards his because I felt his tongue in my mouth.

“I couldn’t see a thing because he still had his thumbs in my eyes but I felt him suck my tongue into his mouth and then he bit down on it.

“I didn’t realise what had happened at first but then he let go and I was able to see again and realised I had blood all around my mouth.

“As I stood up I still didn’t feel any pain but my mouth felt really weird.

I couldn’t work out what it was at first but then realised something was missing from inside my mouth.

“I was spitting blood and then it dawned on me that a big chunk of my tongue was missing.

“I just went into shock. I didn’t know what to do. It was disgusting what he did. All of a sudden I just wanted to hurt him for it.

“He ran away and I chased him and caught up with him. We fought again until someone shouted at us to stop.

“I went to hospital and by then the pain was unbearable, I was in agony, the worst pain I have ever known in my life.

“My brother brought the chunk of tongue in a jar full of ice but they were unable to reattach it.

“I couldn’t eat solids for four weeks and just survived on liquids. It really affected my speech and the way I eat.

“I had to have an operation to help improve the movement of my tongue and I can speak better now but this will affect me for the rest of my life.”

Greaves, who runs a window-cleaning firm, was charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent which carries a maximum sentence of life.

But after legal discussions at Teesside Crown Court he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm.

John, a technician in the water industry, still expected him to be jailed - and was stunned when he got a two-year jail term suspended for two years after the judge said she was “trusting” him not to be violent again.

Judge Matthews also ordered him to pay £2,000 in compensation and imposed a two-year restraining order to keep him away from the victim.

She told him: “This is a truly horrific offence. In defending yourself, you went far too far and caused him permanent injury.

“The circumstances are unusual if not unique. The complainant exacted some degree of revenge and subjected you to a comprehensive beating.

“No matter how he behaved to you in advance did not justify your disgraceful conduct, which must have been a truly horrendous thing.”

The court heard how Greaves, of Chester-le-Street, County Durham, was convicted of grievous bodily harm in 1997, violent disorder in 2000 and common assault in 2008.

John said: “I was convinced he would be going to prison - how can you not be sent to jail for biting someone’s tongue off, especially with his record?”