Special needs worker bit off dad’s ear

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A Newton special needs worker attacked his dad with a weapon and bit off part of his ear after he came round to calm him down after he had assaulted his wife and mother-in-law.

A judge heard that Paul O’Hara had been drinking heavily on New Year’s Eve last year at his home and by 10.30 pm he became aggressive.

He swore at his wife, Louise, and told her to get out of the house. “He approached her and began to punch her around the head and his mother-in-law shouted for him to stop resulting in him grabbing her by the left wrist and trying to turn it before slapping her in the face,” said Paul Blasbery, prosecuting.

His wife attempted to pull his wife off his mother-in-law, Mildred Shamrock, and he grabbed hold of her by the hair and pulled her around the living room calling her names.

“He pinned her down on the living room floor and bit her on the nose. He then went into the kitchen before returning with a bread knife threatening Mrs Sharrock telling her to sit on the settee and not to move before starting to cut himself on the wrist.

“Mrs O’Hara took the opportunity to call the defendant’s parents thinking they may be able to calm him down. They arrived just before midnight, the front door was already open and they came straight into the living room,” said Mr Blasbery.

“The defendant immediately got up off the floor and launched at his father, John O’Hara and they began wrestling and Mr O’Hara snr. managed to pin him down on the floor telling him to calm down.”

Mr Blasbery said that after the defendant calmed down his father let him up but O’Hara picked up a metal candle stick and began to hit him with it and his wife called the police. She could then hear her father-in-law calling out ‘get off’ and when she went back to the living room she saw him on top of his son.

“The defendant had his father’s ear inside his mouth and his father was shouting he could not move as he would lose his ear.

“At this point the police arrived in the living room where they described the scene as two heavy set males grappling on the floor with blood on the floor and on the head of the older man.

“The officers separated the two men and noticed Mr O’Hara was missing the top part of his left ear, had blood on his head and appeared to have an eye injury.”

Mr Blasbery said that Mr O’Hara snr. was suffering head pains and blurred vision and part of his ear was on the floor but he has refused to co-operate with police. Mrs O’Hara had bruising and her mum had a sore wrist.

O’Hara, 41, of Mill Meadows, Newton-le-Willows, pleaded guilty to wounding and two offences of common assault.

Edmund Haygarth, defending, said that O’Hara, who has no previous convictions, accepted he had started the violence and it had been a sustained attack.

He said that the defendant and his wife both employed Wigan Council working with people with learning difficulties.

He has not touched alcohol at all since the incident and is genuinely remorseful.

Sentencing him Judge Brian Cummings pointed out that his wife of 14 years and his mum had both said that nothing of that sort had happened before and he is a hard working man.

He sentenced him to 16 months imprisonment suspended for two years with a rehabilitation requirement for up to 30 days.