An Alness labourer who bit off part of a pal’s ear in a “square go which got out of hand” has avoided jail – because of his “good work ethic”.
Sandon Urquhart ripped off part of the man’s ear and spat it over a fence during a brawl in a Firhill, Alness, car park.
Although surgeons tried to reattach the severed piece, unfortunately it did not graft and had to be removed.
And now Urquhart, 23, has dodged a prison sentence over the horrific assault, with Sheriff Sara Matheson highlighting his “good work ethic”.
During the hearing at Inverness Sheriff Court, Sheriff Matheson told him: “There is an opportunity to deal with matters by a community payback order.
“Prison would have been something like two years and the reason I am not sending you to prison is that your mother died when you were only three but you have made something of your life. You have a good work ethic.”
‘He has matured significantly since then’
Instead of jail, she ordered him to carry out 280 hours of unpaid work, be supervised by social workers for the next two years and wear an electronic tag for the next six months, confining him to his now home in Aird Avenue, Inverness, between 7pm and 7am.
Urquhart previously admitted assaulting the man to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement in a Firhill car park on the night of June 9, 2020.
Defence agent Clare Russell told the court that Urquhart has become “more settled” in a new relationship and has moved in with his girlfriend.
She added: “He has limited his alcohol consumption and stopped taking illicit substances.
“He also recognises the impact this has had on his former friend. Although he has two previous convictions for analogous offences in 2018, he has matured significantly since then.
“This was a square go which got out of hand.”
‘I was defending myself’
Inverness Sheriff Court was previously told that although surgeons re-attached the piece of flesh which had been quickly recovered, it failed to graft properly and had to be removed.
Fiscal depute Martina Eastwood told Sheriff Matheson that Urquhart had approached the man as he sat in his car.
She said: “He acted aggressively and a struggle began and both were rolling on the ground. They got up and were leaning on a fence with their heads close together.
“Urquhart then bit the top of the complainer’s ear lobe off and spat it out over the fence.
“The severed part was recovered and re-attached but the graft failed and it had to be removed.”
When arrested, Urquhart told police: “I was defending myself trying to get him off me.”