Mother bit off part of a woman’s ear during fight organised on social media

Crown Court
Crown Court
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A MUM-of-three bit chunks out of the ears of another woman during a fight which they had arranged via Facebook.

Julie-Ann Doherty was jailed for two years after a court heard Shona Knight needed extensive surgery as a result of the injuries she suffered.

Leeds Crown Court heard Doherty, 33, and Miss Knight, 28, agreed to meet each other to settle a six-month feud.

The pair had seen their relationship become increasingly bitter and they had exchanged insults by text and on social media.

The court was told both women are members of the travelling community and prearranged fights to settle disputes was “part of their culture.”

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said the women were watched by friends and relatives as they fought at the Leeds travellers site at Cottingley Springs on January 18 this year.

A day earlier Doherty had sent Miss Knight a Facebook message saying: “Be there big mouth.”

Mr Ahmed said flesh and skin had been bitten off as Miss Knight was kicked and bitten on her arms and ears.

She has been left permanently scarred. Doherty, of Heights Banks, Armley, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Doherty’s lawyer Ian Cook said the incident stemmed from a dispute between the women’s families

Mr Cook said Miss Knight had been aggressive towards his client which was then followed by a “catalogue” of texts and Facebook messages in which Doherty was asked for a fight.

He added: “It is common within the travelling community to settle their differences.

“What followed is disgusting and disgraceful and this defendant does not shy away from that.”

Jailing Doherty, Recorder Taryn Turner said: “You are a married woman with responsibilities.

“You should know better.

“The proper course is to report it to the police.”