A MAN dived through the passenger window of a car during a road-rage incident and deliberately bit off part of the driver’s ear in what a judge has described as ‘a piece of animal violence.’
And following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on him, savage attacker Daniel McAuley was jailed for five years by the judge at Warwick Crown Court.
McAuley (23) of Binley Avenue, Binley, had denied wounding his victim with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm – but the jury had taken just 25 minutes to find him guilty.
During the trial prosecutor Simon Hunka told the jury: “This case is about road-rage. It is alleged that on the 21st of June last year this defendant wounded Zuhair Hussain with intent.”
Mr Hussain had been driving alone along Binley Road, Coventry, in his Vauxhall Corsa, while McAuley was a front seat passenger in a Peugeot 206.
“When they reached a set of traffic lights the Peugeot was in front of the Corsa. Whatever happened caused the defendant to get out of the car and go over to the Corsa effing and blinding at Mr Hussain, saying ‘Why did you do that?’”
Having opened the door of the Corsa, McAuley slammed it shut and returned to the Peugeot, and both cars moved off.
But at the next set of lights, with Mr Hussain now in front of the Peugeot, McAuley got out again.
A woman who was parked on the pavement as she waited for her husband to come out of a nearby shop described how she saw McAuley ‘dive in through the open window’ before throwing a number of punches at the driver.
The Corsa moved off as the punches continued, and went round the corner out of sight, before crashing into a parked car.
But Mr Hunka told the jury: “In truth, what happened was worse than that.
“Having dived in through the window he was gouging at Mr Hussain’s eye with his fingers, and he bit his left ear. “Part of Mr Hussain’s ear was removed as a result.”
It was that which caused Mr Hussain to taken his hands off the steering wheel and lose control of the car, which shot forward – and as McAuley grabbed the wheel the Corsa turned into the side road and crashed.
McAuley, who was believed to have still had the piece of ear in his mouth because it was not found at the scene, got out and ran off back to the Peugeot which was driven off.
After being arrested and identified by his victim McAuley claimed that when he had gone over to remonstrate with him over his driving, Mr Hussain had pulled him into the car and assaulted him, which was when he bit his ear.
In court he accepted he did attack Mr Hussain and bit his ear, but denied he had intended to cause grievous bodily harm.
But Mr Hunka commented: “We say that to clamp your teeth round someone’s ear and bite so hard as to pull part of that ear off, what else is your intention?”
At the resumed hearing Kevin Saunders, for McAuley, conceded there had to be an immediate prison sentence, but argued: “It has to be in the public interest that as well as being punished, this young man can return to his family as soon as possible, so he can provide for them.”
Jailing McAuley, Recorder Stephen Linehan told him: “You inflicted that injury quite deliberately, and the jury found your intention was to cause him really serious injury.
“What had happened before that piece of animal violence provided no justification at all for what you did.
“Only a prison sentence can be justified.”