Former Casualty actor Clive Mantle fought back tears as he described to a court how he was left permanently disfigured by two noisy drunks in his hotel.
Mr Mantle, 56, lost a substantial part of his ear after he was woken up by Philip McGilvray, 33, and Alan French, 32, shouting in the corridor outside his room, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
The actor twice asked the pair to keep quiet and was on his way to the Quayside Travelodge reception to complain when they laid into him, the jury heard.
He said he fought back and felt a rush of adrenaline when his ear was bitten off, but, remembering the case of farmer Tony Martin, he tried to make his response proportionate when he put his thumb in the man’s eye socket to make him let go.
Mr Mantle lifted his long, grey hair to show the jury his disfigured left ear.
He had been staying in the Travelodge while working on a touring production at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle.
Mr Mantle, 6ft 5in tall and sporting a large moustache grown for his role, went to the door in his pyjamas and a T-shirt, and the noise immediately ceased.
He saw French in front of him – “a much smaller man than me”.
“I said ‘Will you shut up, please, I’m trying to sleep’. “And I indicatd the rest of the corridor were all trying to sleep.
“He made no further noise and I thought ‘I have done the trick’.”
Mr Mantle went back to bed but the noise started again.
He said: “Male One was encouraging Male Two to ‘come and look at the old man in pyjamas’.”
He went to his door and warned them he was going to call security.
As he walked down the corridor barefoot in his pyjamas and T-shirt, he realised “the game had changed” as the men grabbed his arms. Eventually he was brought to the ground with a bang and became aware of a pain in his ear.
The case continues.