A WINSFORD man who bit off a chunk of his friend’s ear following an afternoon drinking session has been jailed.

Paul Webster, 39, from Middlewich Road, Winsford, appeared for sentencing at Warrington Crown Court this morning.

He previously pleaded guilty to section 20 assault on the opening day of his trial.

The sentence relates to an incident that happened between Webster and his friend John Barton, 33, from Winsford, on Tuesday, September 13.

Today the court heard the men had been drinking in Winsford throughout the afternoon, before driving to a cash machine around 9.40pm to take out money to continue the drinking session.

On the way an argument ensued, and the driver of the car pulled by the roadside in Market Place, Winsford.

Once outside the two men clashed and ended up on the ground. Webster then bit off part of Mr Barton’s ear. He was later found unconscious and Webster was arrested.

As well as being disfigured in the attack, Mr Barton received a fractured eye socket, while Webster was 'completely unscathed'.

The court heard that Mr Barton had initially been the aggressor in the incident. Daffyd Roberts, defending, arguing that Webster had acted in ‘excessive self-defence’.

Prosecuting, Karl Scholz, suggested the wound was an ‘act of revenge’ after the initial scuffle.

He said: “He (Webster) held him down long enough to bite this ear. There is evidence to suggest he had already lost consciousness.

“He clearly saved himself from serious injury long before.”

When interviewed by police, Webster was shown photographs of the injuries.

He replied: “Oh my God, that is hideous. That is horrendous.”

Because of the injury Mr Barton will need to have reconstructive surgery on his ear, and may end up needing a prosthetic ear.

The court also heard how Mr Barton, who has two children, had come into financial issues as he was unable to work, and is facing his family home being repossessed.

A victim impact statement said Mr Barton had been left ‘depressed, anxious and embarrassed’ by the ‘deformity’ caused by the attack.

Mr Scholz, said: “He avoids going out as he is conscious people will stare at him.

“He feels children no longer look at him like they did before.”

Mr Roberts said the victim sent several voice messages to Webster via WhatsApp following the incident, which he later admitted to police.

The court heard that Mr Barton had 11 convictions for 17 offences, including a racially aggravated public order offence in 2017.

The judge, Recorder Sarah Johnston agreed it had been Mr Barton who had initially been the aggressor, but dismissed claims that Webster used ‘excessive self-defence’.

It was suggested that it was a headbutt that caused the two to fall to the ground, with Recorder Johnston saying the fractured eye socket was consistent with such a blow.

The court heard how Webster was a man of good character, with only one previous conviction dating back to 1996.

Mr Roberts said Webster had expressed remorse and was ‘mortified’ by the seriousness of the injury caused by his actions.

Recorder Johnston said Mr Barton had received a ‘life-changing deformity’ as a result of the attack.

Delivering her sentencing, she said: “The consequence of your actions has dad far reaching effects.

“It has effected his family life, his children, his ability to work and now we are told it is affecting the roof over their families’ head.”

Webster was jailed for two-and-a-half years.