Victim gave false statement on earbiting

A man who gave a false statement to police after his ear was bitten off by his brother has been ordered to spend two years on probation.

Brian Cross, of Glenbank Road, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice on March 25, last year.

Derry Crown Court heard that police were phoned by the 25-year-old’s girlfriend who said Cross had come home in the early hours of the morning with part of his left ear bitten off.

Police took a statement from Cross in the hospital later the same day and he claimed he had been attacked by a number of unknown people in the Lowry’s Lane area.

He told police that his ear was bitten off during the course of this attack.

The court heard that police began an investigation and searched the area for evidence. However, when officers spoke to Cross’s girlfriend the following day she revealed that his ear had actually been bitten off by his brother during a fight in their house.

Cross’s brother was charged with grievous bodily harm with intent and was acquitted by direction earlier this year.

Cross was interviewed by police and he admitted he had given a false statement.

Defence counsel Seamus McNeill said the incident arose from a “fall out between two brothers who were very, very close”.

He added that Cross’s motivation in giving police a false statement was to avoid getting his brother into trouble.

“He knows it was wrong and knows he shouldn’t have done it” the barrister told the court.

Mr MCNeill told the court that it is “somewhat ironic that this man who is permanently disfigured is the only person in jeopardy of loosing his liberty”.

Ordering Cross to spend two years on probation, Judge Piers Grant said “perverting the course of justice is a very serious offence which almost always results in a custodial sentence”.