Ear bite accused 'hears voices'

Published Wednesday, 19 December 2012
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A man accused of biting off his friend's ear claims he sometimes hears voices in his head, the High Court has been told.

Ear bite accused 'hears voices'
Court was told the injured man lost 80% of his ear. (© UTV)

Russell Kennedy also denies having any memory of the alleged attack in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

The 23-year-old, of Main Street in Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, faces charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and common assault.

He was refused bail due to the risk of any further offences being committed.

The court heard how Kennedy allegedly bit the victim after they got off a bus during a night out in August.

According to the prosecution the injured man lost 80% of his ear in the incident.

Kennedy is also accused of assaulting a woman on the same night.

Crown counsel Nicola Auret revealed details of a psychiatric assessment of the accused while in custody. She said: "It includes a reference to his assertion that he was essentially going mad in prison and that he sometimes heard voices."

Ms Auret added that Kennedy claimed to remember nothing about the incident.

Michael Boyd, defending, accepted there was a strong prima facie case against his client.

"He has an historic problem with alcohol. Once he drinks he tends to drink to excess," Mr Boyd told the court.

The judge noted how issues of paranoia and hallucination appeared to have been "left up in the air" in the psychiatrist's report.

Refusing bail, Mr Justice Horner pointed out that the victim is still to undergo extensive plastic surgery.

He stressed that the expert medical assessment was requested in an attempt to allay concerns about releasing the accused.

"The report comes nowhere near to meeting that condition," he added. "I do not feel in the circumstances of this case that I could impose conditions which would satisfy me there is no risk of further violence in the future."

© UTV News
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