A THUG who left a former friend needing plastic surgery after biting his nose in a drunken brawl has narrowly avoided prison.
Steven Blacklock’s victim was taken to hospital after the savage attack at a party but despite the efforts of surgeons he was left with a scar across his nose.
Party-goers had to prise the brute’s teeth apart to get him to release his grip on his victim.
Blacklock was relieved when he was handed probation and community service for the offence, rather than a custodial sentence.
However, the 23-year-old was warned if he drank alcohol in the next two years he could find himself banged up.
Livingston Sheriff Court heard that on the evening of June 20 last year the victim and his friends had attended a birthday party at a house in Dick Gardens in Whitburn.
Shortly before midnight Blacklock arrived and an altercation took place between him and the complainer. “He was repeatedly asked to leave,” fiscal depute Alastair Learmont said. “The accused and the complainer then went outside to the front garden where a fight broke out between them.”
When other party-goers came outside to see what was happening they saw the complainer on the ground with Blacklock on top of him.
“The police were contacted and attempts were made by partygoers to intervene,” Mr Learmont added. “Blacklock then grabbed the complainer’s head and lifted it off the ground and bit him on the nose.
“Others tried to intervene and eventually had to prise his teeth open with their fingers to get him to release his grip.
“The complainer was taken to St John’s Hospital due to the facial injuries.”
The man was treated at A&E before being operated on by the plastic surgery department. He needed 13 internal and external stitches to the end of his nose and has been left with a two-inch scar.
When police caught up with Blacklock he said he had gone outside for a “square go” with his former friend and had managed to get the better of him.
The 23-year-old initially denied biting him and said his injury must have been caused by a dog. However, two days later he approached his victim’s mother and apologised for the attack.
Last week at the court Blacklock, whose address was given as Murraysgate Crescent, Whitburn, pleaded guilty to assault to injury and permanent disfigurement.
Blacklock also admitted causing a breach of the peace and smashing the window of a car parked on The Avenue in Whitburn on August 19, 2008, as well as a charge of resisting arrest in April last year.
His solicitor, Charlie Morrison, told the court his client had been heavily under the influence of alcohol when he assaulted his former friend.
Mr Morrison added: “Both parties sustained injuries. He accepts he got the better of the victim in the fight and accepts the completely excessive manner in which he acted.
“He does not remember it but accepts the evidence that he has bitten the victim’s nose and there is scarring to the bridge of his nose. He bitterly regrets this and is appalled by what he has done as was seen when he apologised for it two days later.
Sherriff Alan Millar placed Blacklock on probation for two years on the condition that he is banned from drinking alcohol and carries out 150 hours of unpaid work in the community.
Sheriff Millar added: “I recognise that this started off as a fight where you both gave as good as you got but when you got the upper hand you went beyond what was reasonable and your victim ended up with a very serious injury.”
“I think it is to your credit that you recognised just how appalling your behaviour was on that occasion.
“It is quite clear to me that when you drink you end up behaving in this way. If you were to carry on drinking we would see you back here for violent incidents and you would be receiving regular custodial sentences.
“However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You have taken steps to address your drink problem and with support of your family we may not see you back here again.