Ear bite drunk jailed

Convicted - Carl Messen.
Convicted - Carl Messen.

A DONCASTER businessman turned into a drunken thug and bit the ear of a stranger during a ferocious town centre assault, a court heard.

Carl Messen, aged 45, stalked Michael Hollick and left him a physical and emotional wreck after he had been drinking all day during Ladies Day at Doncaster Races last September.

Messen was jailed for nine months at Sheffield Crown Court and ordered to pay his victim £5,000 in compensation by Judge Roger Keen, who said: “I think this happened because you had too much to drink and you were in an exciting environment.”

Ian West, prosecuting, said Messen, who is the managing director of a West Yorkshire-based pub empire, said both he and the victim were drinking in the Relish Bar in East Laith Gate after the races.

Mr Hollick went to the toilets where Messen was arguing with one of his friends, and Mr Hollick tried to calm the situation.

Messen threw a punch at Mr Hollick and in self-defence Mr Hollick, 34, knocked Messen to the floor before door staff intervened.

Mr Hollick left the bar - but was completely unaware that he was being followed along the streets by Messen for about 20 minutes before Messen suddenly appeared and struck Mr Hollick who fell over a small wall.

Messen then repeatedly punched his victim about the head and face, said Mr West, before ‘leaning forward and biting hard on the complainant’s ear’.

Witnesses called the police and Messen was arrested after trying to run away. He said he had been drinking all day at the races and got into an argument at the pub with Mr Hollick who threw a punch at him. He claimed he could remember little after that.

The victim attended hospital for severe cuts and bruises to his head and face. He needed dental treatment and was left with permanent disfiguring of his ear.

The court heard Messen had previous convictions for violence but had last been in trouble in 2003.

Messen, of South Farm Drive, Skellow, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Keith Whitehouse, defending, said Messen expressed the greatest remorse for the ‘awful injuries’ suffered by the victim.

He employed 20 people at five pubs in a business he had built up with his wife, whom he married shortly after the attack.