A construction worker used his teeth as a weapon during a fight with a neighbour and spat out part of his nose leaving him permanently scarred.
A judge told Pedro Correia that he had caused his victim, “untold pain both physical and psychological.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard on Monday, June 7, that there had been text messages exchanged between the two men prior to the incident which happened on a Southport street one afternoon after the victim Cesar Carvalho took his bicycle from a shed to go to work.
Correia said to him, “I’m going to get you now” and started punching him to the jaw.
“Mr Carvalho started punching back in order to defend himself and the two men ended up fighting. The defendant’s wife tried to break the two men up and they did separate.
“The defendant used his mobile phone and without warning lunged at Mr Carvalho and grabbed the back of his head. He then pulled Mr Carvalho’s face towards him and bit his nose.
“Mr Carvalho felt a shooting pain and saw the defendant had blood on his face and what looked to be a bit of skin in his mouth which he then spat out. “
During the incident in Alexandra Road, Southport, Correia picked up bricks and threw them at the victim. Mr Carvalho walked round the corner but the defendant followed and threw another brick at him, said Anna Price, prosecuting.
The police were called and the victim went to hospital and was found to have a cut to his nose and tissue was missing from the top of his nose exposing the underlying structures. He underwent surgery two days later on January 21 last year for the damaged tissue to be removed and the wound to be cleaned.
When interviewed 42-year-old Correia claimed he had been acting in self-defence. In April this year he stood trial accused of wounding Mr Carvalho with intent but after the victim gave evidence he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of wounding which was accepted by the prosecution.
The court heard that he no longer claimed to have been acting in self-defence.
In an impact statement Mr Carvalho spoke of being permanently scarred even if he has a further skin graft and he is paranoid about people asking him about his injury. He no longer socialises as often as he did and suffers from nightmares and gets impatient and angry.
“His nose is more sensitive and he finds it is irritated by wearing a mask,” said Miss Price.
Correia, now of Bath Street, Southport, has previous convictions in his homeland of Portugal including an offence of violence in 2001 for which he was not sentenced until 2010.
Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, pointed out “there is an elephant in the room because of the previous exchange between the victim and the defendant’s wife. Something must have prompted this violent attack.”
He said that the two men, who both then lived in Alexandra Road, had been friends. “Something happened in your respective domestic lives to change things and on January 19 last year you attacked him in the street.”
He said what made it more serious was that he used his teeth as a weapon and it was only very recently that he showed any remorse at all. The incident took place in public “and it would have been very frightening had it by seen by members of the public.”
Judge Goldstone sentenced Corriea, who was assisted by an interpreter, to 20 months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered him to carry out 30 days rehabilitation activities. He also imposed a curfew with a tag between 8pm- 7am for six months.
“If you get fed up staring at your four walls you have a chance to reflect on how close you came to be staring at four walls of a prison cell.”
He ordered him to pay £500 prosecution costs and imposed an indefinite restraining order to keep away from Mr Carvalho.
The judge told the defendant that he had decided against ordering him to pay compensation. “I think it would an inflammatory approach to take,” adding that the victim could “pursue his own remedy through the state system.”
Lloyd Morgan, defending, had told the court, “He is ashamed of his behaviour and it is certainly not an action he will be repeating. It was a short lived isolated incident with one bite causing the injury and he is remorseful.”
He works in the construction industry and although he is divorced he is supported by his family. Following a vehicle accident seven years ago he has had some mental health issues and is awaiting hospital tests, said Mr Morgan.