30th Jun, 2022

'Animal' attack on gay lover whose ear was bitten off

A Coventry man who attacked his gay lover by biting him repeatedly ‘like an animal’ to his face and body and biting off part of his victim’s ear has escaped being jailed.

Ian Mayall pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to wounding his then-partner Thomas Smith, and his plea of not guilty to doing so with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm was accepted.

Mayall (25) of Cross Road, Coventry, was sentenced by Recorder Sam Mainds to 18 months in prison suspended for two years, with a rehabilitation activity for 40 days.

Prosecutor William Dudley said Mr Smith and Mayall were in a relationship in February last year when a concerned neighbour called the police to their home in Sadler Road, Coventry.

When officers attended, they found Mr Smith outside, naked and covered in blood.

They went into the flat where they found Mayall, who was also naked, lying face-down on the floor, with blood around his mouth.

“The police tried to speak to him, but didn’t get a lot of sense, and neither were giving any real explanation for what happened, so both were arrested for affray and taken to hospital.”

When Mr Smith was later interviewed, he said they had been out in Northampton for the day, and Mayall had got a little drunk before they returned to Coventry and carried on drinking.

They eventually got home at 11.30 that night, and as Mr Smith was getting ready for bed, Mayall, who he described as being ‘quite possessive,’ began to moan about him talking to other people while they had been in town.

Mr Smith continued to get ready for bed as they argued, but Mayall then grabbed him and pushed him to the floor and got on top of him, sitting astride him.

“The defendant bit Mr Smith to the chest, to the lower ribcage area. He described it as being like an animal biting for the kill, and that he did it in several places to his body and would not stop.

“The complainant was terrified. The defendant continued to bite at his nose and lip, and to his ear as the complainant put his arm across the defendant’s chest to try to push him away.

“He was eventually able to push him off, but at that point the defendant had his teeth biting down onto his ear and tore off a significant amount of the top of his ear.

“It was never recovered, causing him to suppose the defendant had swallowed it,” said Mr Dudley, who pointed out that Mr Smith has been left with a disfigurement to his ear and suffers flashbacks.

But when Mayall was then questioned, he gave a ‘no comment’ account.

David Murray, defending, said: “I have to accept it is serious, but this is a matter that might just be managed by way of a suspended sentence.”

Recorder Mainds observed: “Yes, this was a serious falling out, ending in violence, between two gay lovers who had been together for some time.”

Mr Murray said there had been two previous call-outs by Mayall and his father over allegations of violence by Mr Smith, although he conceded that ‘nothing excuses this behaviour.’

Mayall was said to have had long-standing mental health problems, having been diagnosed as suffering from ADHD as a youth and more recently autistic spectrum disorder.

But he would respond to suitable treatment and is receiving the support of his local church and the archdeacon, who have given him some focus, Mr Murray added.

Sentencing Mayall, Recorder Mainds told him: “It is now 18 months ago that you had this fight with the gentleman with whom you were living. It was an appalling incident where you completely lost control.

“You do have a number of problems, but none of them justify what you did on that day.

“You are very fortunate the prosecution dropped the case from wounding with intent to the lesser count.

“I am persuaded, because of the way the church has taken considerable effort to help you, to pass a suspended sentence.”

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