Man left with crooked smile after being slashed by boyfriend in Sunderland home

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A man was left with a crooked smile after his boyfriend slashed his neck with a knife during a row.

Riley Freeman needed surgery to repair a facial nerve and stem heavy bleeding from the injury caused by his partner Scott Langford after an 18-hour drinking session.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Langford, 28, had lashed out when an argument between the two men, who had been together around four months, turned physical at their Sunderland home last May.

The wound, and the surgery to repair it, has left Mr Freeman with scars just below his ear and an uneven smile.

Prosecutor Paul Rowland told the court: “At some point the defendant inflicted a wound with a knife to the complainant.

“There was surgical intervention.”

Langford made a full confession at the scene of the stabbing.

He told police: “He bit me so I grabbed the knife and stabbed him.

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt him, I love him so much.”

Langford admitted unlawful wounding on the basis he had acted in self defence, which went too far and that he lashed out with the knife recklessly.

The court heard Langford had been bitten on the head by Mr Freeman during the violence.

Mr Recorder Kealey sentenced Langford to two years behind bars.

The judge told Langford: “This has had a significant impact on him.

“He has numbness to the right side of his face and the right side of his mouth stays up when he smiles.

“It is impossible not to impose an immediate custodial sentence in this case.”

Langford was issued with a restraining order banning any contact with Mr Freeman.

Alison Walley, defending, said the men had been introduced through friends and Langford left his home in Wales to move in with Mr Freeman in Sunderland.

Miss Walley said the relationship between the men became “verbally and physically aggressive” and Langford was left feeling isolated.

In the hours before the violence last May, the couple had been drinking with a friend in Newcastle before returning to Sunderland where they had more alcohol.

Miss Walley added; “On the date of the incident all parties had been drinking heavily, 18 hours is the time span that has been put on it.”

The court heard Langford, of Penewern, Llangollon, Denbighshire, who has a good work record, has stayed away from drink and drugs since the attack.