Mum-of-two left woman disfigured 'for life' after biting off a quarter of her ear in street fight

Matthews was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.
Matthews was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.

A woman who bravely tried to intervene in a brawl in the street lost a quarter of her ear when she was attacked.

She had stepped in twice to try and stop some trouble that had broken out in Washington, but lost a large chunk of flesh when April Matthews attacked with her teeth.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim has undergone reconstructive surgery since the violence, which happened in July 2017, but will be disfigured for the rest of her life.

Mum-of-two Matthews, 28, of Saddleback, Albany, Washington, admitted unlawful wounding.

Mr Recorder Geoffrey Pritchard sentenced her to two years imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with rehabilitation requirements and 150 hours unpaid work.

The judge said Matthews used her "teeth as a weapon" and told her: "You became involved in a street brawl in Washington.

"A consequence of this is you bit the top quarter off the complainant's ear.

"I have been shown pictures of that injury. It is clearly an extremely upsetting disfigurement for anyone to suffer.

"I have been told that while the complainant is undergoing reconstructive surgery, it is painful and will never be truly fixed.

"She will have some degree of disfigurement for life. She has lost self esteem and self confidence."

The judge added: "It is common ground she had been in Washington and saw a group of people, including you, involved in a street brawl.

"She appears, on two occasions, to have, rather bravely, intervened to break up the brawl.

"As a consequence, you maybe argued with her, there was a scuffle with her and a consequence of that was that her ear was bitten off."

The judge said Matthews's prison sentence could be suspended as she is of good character, has shown "considerable remorse", has taken steps to ensure a similar situation will not happen again and has care of two small children.