A rugby player has told a jury of the pain and shock he suffered when a rival prop sank his teeth into his ear.
Hooker Craig Britton said the experience was completely different from the normal rough and tumble of the scrum and he knew instantly that he had been bitten.
Prop Mark Unsworth, who was playing his first game for Sidmouth Rugby Club, is on trial at Exeter Crown Court accused of assault during the game almost three years ago.
The prosecution say Unsworth bit off a section of the top of Mr Britton’s right ear as they were buried under a collapsed scrum during the South West One home league game between Sidmouth and the Bristol-based Avonmouth Old Boys.
Unsworth, aged 40, of Back Lane, Newton Poppleford, denies unlawful wounding. He says the injury was caused by an accidental clash of heads or a stray stud from another player.
The attack is alleged to have taken place while Unsworth was lying on top of Britton after a scrum collapsed for the first time.
Britton turned to his left in the witness box to show the scarring on his ear to the jury.
He also identified a gory photograph taken at hospital as being of his injury.
He told the jury there had been no animosity between himself and the prop before the incident, in which Unsworth was lying on top of his shoulder and chest.
He said: ”I was trying to get him off me and using my weight to push him up. There were no blows being struck. He moved up my body and he twisted so his head was right next to my ear.
“I could not get him off me and he moved his mouth to my right ear and clamped his jaw into it. It was very hard and it was very painful.
“He did not say anything and I had not said anything to him. My focus went straight to what was happening. I have played for 20 years and had a lot of clashes of head and this felt nothing like them.
“I have had contact with boots in the past and experienced a lot of bruising from stamp and got swelling but this was not the same. I lost a part of my ear.
“There was no lead-up to it. It was totally unprovoked and has left me very cautious about what I look like. I part of my ear is missing and was never found.
“When I got to my feet I told him he was a dead man. I spoke to the referee and told him I had just had my ear bitten off and that Unsworth should be sent off. He said he had not seen it and there was nothing he could do.”
Mr Britton denied that he and his team mates had exacted revenge during the rest of the match by gouging, kneeing, and hitting Unsworth.
Frenchay Hospital plastic surgeon Mr Paul Townsend said he examined the ear a month later and found the injury consistent with a bite but unlikely to have been caused by a head or boot because the area of injury was so specific with no bruising or abrasion around it.
The trial continues