Cumbria Crack

Thug who bit off portion of stranger’s lip during Carlisle violence is jailed

The scene of James Etheridge’s attack, at the corner of Devonshire and Lowther streets in Carlisle

A THUG who tore off part of a stranger’s lip with his teeth in Carlisle city centre has been jailed for almost five years.

James David Etheridge, 22, attacked Jonathan Dixon at the corner of Devonshire and Lowther streets after earlier incidents inside and outside a nearby nightclub during the early hours of August 26 last year.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Etheridge, high on drink and drugs, sank his teeth into Mr Dixon’s lower lip before taking his whole body – and victim – forcefully to the ground. This caused a portion of Mr Dixon’s lip to become detached. It was never recovered.

He was left bleeding heavily by his attacker, who was heard making “growling and squealing” noises, and had to be placed in leg restraints after behaving violently towards police who arrived at the scene. Mr Dixon underwent surgery during prolonged medical treatment, and had described the psychological, physical and financial effects of a “hideous” wound which, he said, left him feeling “silly when smiling”.

Etheridge, of Raffles Avenue, Carlisle, admitted wounding with intent, and was sentenced this afternoon (FRI) when he told the court of his shame: “I’ve been so stupid,” he told Recorder Julie Clemitson. “I will always regret this.”

Jailing him for four years and eight months, Recorder Clemitson said: “This is a case where you used your teeth as a weapon.”

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