Witnesses to an assault in which a man bit through another man’s nose were physically sick from what they saw, last week’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Court heard.
Michael ‘Skippy’ Reape (31) of 19 Mount Assumpta, Ballina, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment after he bit the nose of Adrian Ryan outside a pub in Ballina on November 22, 2010.
Detective Garda Eddie Naughton described how Mr Reape held onto Adrian Ryan’s shoulders as he bit down on his nose. When Mr Reape eventually let go, Mr Ryan fell to his knees and part of his nose was ‘hanging off’.
Det Garda Naughton explained that witnesses to the gruesome scene were physically sick. Mr Ryan, who was bleeding profusely, was taken to University Hospital Galway where he underwent plastic surgery. He has since made a good recovery.
The court heard that Mr Reape and Mr Ryan had been in the Peacock Bar on O’Rahilly Street, Ballina, and that Mr Reape had exchanged words with Mr Ryan’s friends. When Mr Reape refused to behave in the pub he was ejected by the landlady.
When Mr Ryan went outside for a cigarette, he got into a scuffle with Mr Reape. When Mr Ryan tried to go back inside the pub, he was bitten by Mr Reape.
When Mr Reape was interviewed by gardaí on January 17, 2011, he said that when they were on the ground he claimed Mr Ryan’s nose got in his mouth and did not mean to bite him.
Det Garda Naughton said that while Mr Ryan has made a good recovery, there was residual discolouring on his nose and that he was conscious of people looking at him. He also said that as a result of the assault, Mr Ryan missed eight weeks of work around Christmas, which amounted to a €4,000 loss of earnings.
Argumentative when drunk
The court heard that Mr Reape has a number of previous convictions and was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment in January for threatening and being abusive towards gardaí, but that he had served just one day before being released.
Mr Eoin Garavan, BL for the defendant, said his client has a young daughter from a previous relationship and was involved in a FÁS course. He said he would be interested in paying compensation but was unable to do so.
Det Garda Naughton said that Mr Reape had a problem with alcohol and that he ‘can be very argumentative with drink on him’. Mr Garavan urged Judge Thomas E O’Donnell to impose a non-custodial sentence so that he could deal with his problems.
However, Judge O’Donnell said that Mr Ryan had suffered horrific injuries and that the offence warranted a custodial sentence. He sentenced Mr Reape to two years’ imprisonment and suspended the last six months on the condition he keeps the peace for 18 months post release.