A former Commonwealth Games swimmer bit off part of a man’s ear during a fight in a nightclub, a court heard.
Dominic Hegarty was handed a suspended prison sentence over the attack despite a court hearing how he has a previous conviction for inflicting grievous bodily harm and three for drink-driving.
Hegarty, 31, sank his teeth into his victim’s ear during the disturbance on the dance floor of the Tokyo club, Huddersfield, on January 3.
Leeds Crown Court heard Hegarty was seen on CCTV footage spitting out part of the victim’s ear before going to the toilets to wash his mouth.
The victim was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary but medical staff were unable to re-attach the missing piece of the ear and he had to undergo plastic surgery.
Hegarty, of Brook Lane, Golcar, was arrested and said the victim had initially attacked him. He pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
He has a previous convictions for assaulting a man in a supermarket.
Peter Killen, mitigating, said Hegarty had previously swam for his country and competed in the Commonwealth Games.
Mr Killen said Hegarty was a swimming instructor and had his own company which employed nine members of staff. Mr Killen said his client had acted in “excessive self defence”.
Hegarty was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work. Hegarty was also told to pay £2,500 compensation to the victim.