Ear-biting Romford man given suspended sentence
PUBLISHED: 13:24 07 December 2010 | UPDATED: 16:02 07 December 2010
A WANNABE soldier from Romford who bit off a fellow drinker's ear after the pair were drawn into a spat involving their girlfriends walked free from court today (Tuesday December 7).
Simon Bromfield, of Cotleigh Road, left 24-year-old Billy Ternant “permanently disfigured” after the attack in south London.
The scrap broke out following a row between their girlfriends at the bar in the Coronet nightclub in Elephant and Castle on April 12 this year.
Inner London Crown Court heard Mr Ternant did not initially realise that the middle section of his ear was missing, with his lobe hanging off.
The missing cartilage was never found and Mr Ternant has since had to undergo plastic surgery to repair the damage.
Father-of-two Bromfield, 29, was handed a suspended sentence after the court heard that a jail term would scupper his application to join the Army’s Parachute Regiment.
The prosecution had suggested a jail sentence of between 12 months and three years.
The former bouncer and personal trainer claimed he had been forced to defend himself after Mr Ternant and “a group” of men attacked him, pinning him to the ground and gouging at his eyes.
Following his arrest, a police doctor found “minor cuts and bruises” on his body.
Mark Eldridge, prosecuting, said Bromfield had “bitten Mr Ternant deliberately”.
He said: “He claimed – this the Crown does not accept – that he was attacked by a group of males including Mr Ternant.
“This was a figment of his imagination.
“It is accepted that during the course of the fight, Billy Ternant did gouge at his eyes, but that is the limit to which the Crown can go.”
Bromfield, currently receiving jobseekers’ allowance, has previous convictions for common assault, possessing weapons and driving while disqualified dating back to 1996.
According to a probation report he used steroids previously while bodybuilding in the gym, while a separate report branded him a “medium risk of serious harm to members of the public.”
His Army application was put on hold following the incident, but he had been told it would be considered if his sentence was suspended, the court heard.
Katrina Jameson, defending, said Bromfield used “excessive force” to protect himself after Mr Ternant “viciously attacked” him.
“Mr Bromfield did feel very threatened during the course of the fight,” she said.
“He ended up on the floor, and the victim had his arms across his back and had his weight on him – trying to gouge at his eyes.
“He was very frightened and did something he now bitterly regrets.
“He only did it because he was so fearful of what was going to happen to him.
“He is genuinely remorseful for this offence and never appreciated the extent of the injury he had caused.”
She added that Bromfield had “poor thinking skills” and was “impulsive”.
Sentencing him to a nine-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, a 12-month supervision order and 220 hours of unpaid work, Judge Karu said Bromfield had inflicted a “particularly grave injury”.
She said: “Members of the public who go out to enjoy themselves are entitled to do so without fear of being assaulted by persons such as you.
“Whilst I can see that this was not a fight of your making, the reality is that having got involved in this you ended up causing an extremely serious injury to Mr Ternant.
“He is left permanently disfigured and will have a permanent reminder of what happened to him on that fateful night.”
Bromfield admitted unlawful wounding.