A man was spared jail after claims he bit a man’s ear during a brawl were thrown out by a court.
Mark Edwards had pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault by beating at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court.
The 40-year-old, of Wigan Road, Hindley, was alleged to have bitten Jake Scrivens’s ear during an alcohol-fuelled mass brawl at a party on October 7 last year.
The court heard that the event was a birthday party for Scrivens, and that everyone had been drinking heavily for some time when the scuffle broke out.
Edwards admitted to fighting with Scrivens but denied biting him.
But the case was dismissed after witnesses failed to turn up to testify at the trial.
Following a short delay in proceedings, prosecutors told the bench that key witnesses had called her to say they would not be attending the trial due to the “stress of proceedings” that they had suffered.
They added that following some unrelated bad news, they “just wanted to get on with their lives and forget about it.”
She recommended the case be adjourned so that a court summons could be issued.
But magistrates decided that the trial should go ahead after the defence team from M.I. Banks argued that one witness had a history of disregarding court orders.
He insisted that an adjournment for a summons to be issued would not necessarily result in witnesses turning up next time.
The trial was delayed before being moved to another courtroom, where magistrates dismissed the trial due to lack of evidence.
Edwards was punished, however, for assaulting his ex-partner Lauren Scrivens, during the same fight.
During the attack on her, which Edwards admitted to, he was “flailing his arms wildly” and struck her.
For this offence, he was given a community order of six months and a 15-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation, an £80 fine, £85 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.