Bit pal's ear after getting "wrong end of the stick"

Bit pal's ear after getting "wrong end of the stick"

Bit pal's ear after getting "wrong end of the stick"

A mother-of-four left her former friend requiring surgery after she bit her on the ear after she "got the wrong end of the stick" over a dispute about her boyfriend, Letterkenny Circuit Court heard this week.

Melissa Byrne of 18 Whitethorn Grove, Gortlee, Letterkenny pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to 26-year-old Fallon Alcorn at 40 Ard na Ri, Letterkenny on December 27th, 2008.

Garda Kevin Hynes told the court the victim arrived at Letterkenny Garda Station at 2.30pm the day after St Stephen's day with a bandage on her ear but still bleeding heavily. She said she was at her sister's home when another woman entered the house, grabbed her, knocked her on to the sofa and bit her on the ear.

State Barrister, Patricia McLaughlin BL, said part of the victim's ear was severed and she was "traumatised" after the incident.

Garda Hynes said the two women had been in each other's company the previous night but Melissa Byrne "thought there was something going on" between her partner and Ms Alcorn.

Ms McLaughlin BL asked if the defendant had got the "wrong end of the stick" to which he replied "I believe so".

The bite to her right ear required cleaning, stitching and she was referred to St. James Hospital to see a surgeon.

Defence barrister, Fiona Crawford BL, said the "nexus" of the case was her client believed the victim had a "drunken kiss" with her partner the previous night and it was a "row about a man that is in the background".

She added that the saying "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned was true in this case".

She said her 28-year-old client, originally from Ballyfermot in Dublin, "literally flipped" and launched a "disproportionate attack" but admitted her guilt at the first occasion.

Fallon Alcorn gave evidence that she was very conscious about her appearance since the attack but can get re-constructive surgery.

She said a number of children witnessed the attack, including her son.

Judge John O'Hagan described the incident as a "savage attack" where "excruciating pain" must have been inflicted.

He said the "sheer savagery" of the attack was the main aggravating factor but he gave her credit for her early plea and good probation report.

He said if she was found guilty by a jury he would have jailed her for three years.

He sentenced her to two years in prison but substituted it for 240 community service.