Jail for man who bit clubber in the face at Peterborough nightspot

A man who bit a reveller in the face in a night club in Peterborough has been jailed.

Friday, 14th September 2018, 5:06 pm
Updated Friday, 14th September 2018, 6:08 pm

Richard Harnwell attacked Ian Clifton at the Flares club in Broadway, Peterborough in December last year.

Mr Clifton (44) was left with two large cuts on the left hand side of his jaw as a result of the assault.

Today (Friday) he was jailed for 30 weeks at Peterborough Crown Court - despite a 'very human plea' from his barrister Amanda Bailey to suspend the sentence.

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Benedict Peers, prosecuting, told the court: "Mr Harnwell was out with his family celebrating his son's 19th birthday at 1.25am on December 2 2017.

"He was in the nightclub, when Mr Clifton and his brother came in.

"There was contact between Mr Clifton and Mr Harnwell's daughter.

"There was a verbal altercation at first, and then the boyfriend of the lady escorted Mr Clifton across the dance floor.

"Then there was an altercation, and Mr Clifton ended up on the floor, with Mr Harnwell on top of him. Mr Harnwell threw two or three punched, and then bit him in the jaw or cheek area."

The pair were then separated, and Mr Harnwell was identified outside the nightclub.

He gave a no comment interview to police.

Mr Clifton suffered cuts and bruises to his face along with the 'large lacerations' to his jaw, which needed hospital treatment.

Mr Peers said the law said biting someone was 'effectively the use of a weapon.'

The court was told Harnwell only had one previous conviction for affray, dating back 10 years.

Miss Bailey, defending, said Harnwell said he did not remember the incident. She said: "He told me 'I am devastated to hear I bit someone. I don't remember it. I am horrified and appalled.'"

She added: "There has been remorse from the word go.

"He has had a positive and productive life. His family and business are at the heart of that.

"He means the world to a great number of people.

"His family are supportive of him, and the thought of him not being around leaves them devastated.

"I am making a very human plea on their behalf for anything but immediate custody."

Miss Bailey said Harnwell was willing, and offering, to pay compensation for his attack.

But Judge Sean Enright, sentencing, said: "Some provocation was offered, and as a result you threw punches. If it had stayed there, you would not be in this position. But whilst on the floor you bit him."

Judge Enright said he gave Harnwell credit for positive good character, and a guilty plea at the first opportunity,

But he said: "The sentence is 30 weeks. This cannot be suspended. You bit this man in the face, and prison must be the only outcome."

Harnwell, of Murrow Bank, Wisbech, had pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm at a previous hearing.