Man chopped off part of neighbour’s ear in row over oven temperature

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A MAN who chopped off part of his neighbour’s ear for tampering with his food in their communal kitchen is facing years behind bars.

Steven Brown had turned down the gas when he realised something was burning in their shared oven and opened a window to let out the smoke.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when Gareth Chip, 31, realised the cooking temperature had been adjusted on his supper, he threatened to stab Mr Brown before slicing off part of his left ear with a knife.

The court heard the wound left blood “streaming down like a tap”.

Medics were able to re-attach the severed flesh back on to Mr Brown’s ear.

Prosecutor Michael Hodson told the court: “The defendant was cross about the temperature being turned down on the oven.

“He swung a knife at his head and cut his ear.

“He cut off part of the ear. It was stitched back on.”

Chip, of Coleridge Road, Hylton Castle, Sunderland, denied he knew anything about the attack.

He was tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court who found him guilty of wounding with intent, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Judge Simon Hickey remanded Chip in custody while an assessment is carried out as to the risk he poses to the public.

The judge said: “I can’t proceed to sentence because of the gravity of the offence.

“The sentencing guidelines counsel obliges me to assess whether this man is a dangerous individual, which would lead to a longer or different sentence than normal.

“It will inevitably be a long prison sentence.

“Anyone that cuts another person with a knife goes to prison for a significant period of time.” Mr Hodson told the court the men had lived in next-door flats at The Elms West, in Sunderland, last September 7, and had a shared kitchen.

Shortly before midnight, Mr Brown realised something was burning in the oven and went to sort it out.

Mr Hodson said: “The defendant came into the kitchen, he was drunk and agitated. He began to be aggressive and threatened Mr Brown.

“Mr Brown walked out of the kitchen.

“The defendant followed Mr Brown with a kitchen knife and made a threat he was going to ‘stick this into you’.

“Mr Brown tried to calm the situation down.

“The defendant lunged with the knife at his head.

“He moved his head quick enough to avoid a head injury and the blade caught and cut right through his left ear.

“The defendant said ‘I will take the rest of your ear off and I will stab you’.

“Luckily, he didn’t.”