These pictures capture the moment a thug launched a shocking attack on a man in the outdoor area of Accrington’s market hall.
Father-of-three David Ellis ‘clamped his teeth’ onto the right ear of victim Philip McNicholas ‘like a Jack Russell’, in front of stunned shoppers, a court heard.
The victim was left with blood pouring from his ear and needing 22 stitches following the attack which was caught on CCTV cameras.
Mr McNicholas, a carer who worked with the Autistic Society, was in the town centre with an autistic young man when he was attacked on the day of the Freedom Parade on July 1 last year.
Recorder Raymond Herman said the CCTV footage played at court showed members of the public left ‘shocked’ and ‘distressed’ by the violence.
Ellis, 44, of Wordsworth Close, Oswaldtwistle, pleaded guilty to assault causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
He was jailed for 32 months and given an indefinite restraining order.
The court heard how there was a ‘significant background’ and ‘bad blood’ between the two men who had previously been neighbours.
Emma Kehoe, prosecuting, told the court how the attack was sparked off after the man Mr McNicholas was with said ‘hiya’ to Ellis as they walked down Broadway. As Ellis and Mr McNicholas turned round, the carer told the other man to hurry up before Ellis said ‘What the **** are you looking at?’.
The court heard how Ellis became ‘angry and aggressive’. He pushed Mr McNicholas in the chest in the outdoor area of the market hall and blocked his escape when he tried to flee.
Miss Kehoe told how Ellis then grabbed him in a ‘bear hug’ and was ‘bearing down with his teeth on his ear like a Jack Russell or a terrier’.
She said Ellis had used ‘teeth as a weapon’ and that Mr McNicholas thought his attacker was was ‘going to have his ear off’. When arrested, Ellis told police how he was ‘losing it’ and ‘cracking up’, there was ‘animosity’ between them.
A victim personal statement told how Mr McNicholas has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, suffers panic attacks, has lost weight due to stress and lost his job as a result of the incident.
Daniel Prowse, defending, said Ellis had recently stopped drinking after a ‘long history of alcoholism’ and was suffering from ‘withdrawal symptoms’.
He said this had a ‘profound effect on his mental state’ and made him ‘very quick to temper and very aggressive’.
He said: “Something must have acted upon his psyche to make him spin into a rage. It is plainly out of character for him.”
Recorder Herman said Ellis ‘clamped his teeth’ on his ear for ‘quite some significant time during the struggle’. He said: “It’s difficult to understand how a caring father could behave in the atrocious way you behaved on that day.
“You had the opportunity to disengage when Mr McNicholas ran off but you were so out of control.”