Teenager who bit off part of love rival's ear jailed - Welwyn Garden City

16/08/2013

A teenager, who bit off part of a love rival's ear outside a Welwyn Garden City bar, was jailed for 2 years and 4 months today, Friday, 16 August 2013.

Connell Burgham, 19, left Karl Roberts permanently disfigured after hearing that he was going out with his ex-girlfriend.

CCTV played to St Albans Crown Court showed a fight between the two men outside the Parkway Bar early in the morning. The two pushed each other, and punches were thrown before they both ended up on the ground. Door staff eventually managed to separate the pair, but in that time Burgham had sunk his teeth into Mr Roberts' right ear.

David Chrimes prosecuting for Thames and Chilotern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "The case involves a love triangle. The defendant had been going out with a girl called Sophie for a number of years. Two weeks before this incident, in October last year, he ended the relationship and went out with a new girlfriend."

Both men had been in the Parkway Bar that night and there was no trouble. After Mr Roberts left, Burgham discovered he was going out with Sophie and sent him a tirade of texts.

Karl Roberts returned to the outside of the bar. The two men started pushing, grappling and throwing punches and they rolled onto the ground.

"There the defendant bit Karl's right ear. He went right through the skin and gristle. It was a severe bite that detached part of the ear," said Mr Chrimes.

The victim, who was bleeding heavily, was taken to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage before being transferred to the Luton and Dunstable hospital. Doctors were unable to reattach the part that had been bitten off.

Mr Roberts, who works as an electrician, now goes out with his hoodie up and will have to decide whether to undergo plastic surgery, said the prosecutor.

Burgham of Parsonage, North Mymms pleaded guilty to wounding Karl Roberts on 27 October 2012. He had no previous convictions, but two cautions.

Emma Reed, defending, said: "When he was questioned by the police Connell Burgham said: "It is disgusting - not acceptable at all." He is not a fighter and didn't want a fight that night. He knows he took things too far. He was scared Karl Roberts was bigger and older than him. He has shown remorse for the damage he caused."

She said Burgham, who was only 18 at the time, suffered from ADHD, but was supported by an "extremely close family."

Judge Martin Griffith said: "The saying 'what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander' no longer applies."

Jailing him, the judge told Burgham: "Karl Roberts was left with real disfigurement. You engineered the whole confrontation. It was a very serious offence that caused a very serious injury."

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