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Prisoner bit chunk out of cellmate's ear as they watched Six Nations; Andrew Nicholas told prison guards who rushed to the cell to help his blood-covered victim: 'His ear is on the floor behind the door'.

Byline: Jason Evans

A prison inmate bit a large chunk out of his cellmate's ear as they watched a Six Nations match on television.

Andrew Nicholas sank his teeth into Gareth Price's ear after an argument began while the pair were drunk on 'prison hooch', a court heard.

Though the piece of ear was found on the floor of the cell it could not be reattached and the victim has been left permanently disfigured.

Swansea Crown Courtheard violence erupted in a cell in Swansea Prison on the afternoon of February 24 this year as inmates Nicholas and Price were watching the England v Scotland clash.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, said both men were initially chatting and watching the game without incident and both were intoxicated on "prison hooch".

Prison hooch is a rough alcohol brew typically made from fruit juice and sugar, with bread proving the yeast for fermentation. It was not known who had made the alcohol.

The prosecutor said the mood in the cell changed and Nicholas began accusing his cellmate of being a "f***ing woman beater". A scuffle then broke out during which Nicholas grabbed his victim's head and sunk his teeth into this ear.

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The court heard prison officers were alerted by the sounds of a fight and rushed to the cell. They found the victim "covered in blood" and 31-year-old Nicholas told them: "His ear is on the floor behind the door."

The victim -- and the missing piece of flesh -- were rushed to hospital but it was not possible to repair the damage.

The prosecutor said in the subsequent prison disciplinary hearing Nicholas accepted he had been in a fight with his cell mate.

Nicholas, of Caergynydd Road, Waunarlwydd,Swansea, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

The court heard he had a history of violent offending including inflicting grievous bodily harm and making threats to kill -- in an incident which saw him slashing his estranged partner in the head with a kitchen knife -- as well as affray, battery, and assaulting his mother at her home.

He also has convictions for possession of drugs, shoplifting, possession of a knife in Swansea's Castle Square, and motoring matters, and was serving a prison sentence for burglary when the attack took place.

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Andrew Evans, for Nicholas, described the events of February 24 as highly unusual and said before the attack took place his client had asked for his cellmate to be moved.

He said the defendant had abused drugs since his teenage years and wanted to tackle the issues that led to him to resort to violence when he found himself in "difficult situations".

Judge Keith Thomas said he agreed with the conclusions of a pre-sentence report that Nicholas should be considered a dangerous offender who posed a significant risk to others.

Nicholas was given a 12-year extended sentence for public protection comprising eight years custody and four years on licence. The defendant can apply for parole at the two-thirds point of the custodial part of the sentence.

He was also made the subject of a restraining order banning him from contacting his victim for the next 10 years.

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Credit: South Wales Police

Anthony Nicholas was drunk on 'prison hooch' when he attacked his cellmate
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Publication:Wales Online (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 5, 2018
Words:568
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