A woman accused of biting off part of another woman’s ear did not appear to spit the chunk out afterwards, a court has heard.
Sian Marshall is alleged to have attacked Chantelle Mitchell, known as Nelly, at an address in Cardenden in 2019.
It is alleged the 27-year-old caused Ms Mitchell permanent disfigurement after tearing off part of her flesh with her teeth.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard Ms Mitchell was among a group of people at a boozy gathering at Diane Storrar’s home.
Ms Storrar said Marshall had entered her property uninvited and attacked a sleeping Ms Mitchell by kicking her several times on the head before being forced to leave.
However Marshall returned later in the evening and attacked Ms Mitchell for a second time, biting her ear in the process.
Flat searched for missing piece of ear
She told the court that following the incident, the missing piece of ear could not be found.
She said: “Sian dragged her to the floor. They were both on the floor and Sian was on top of her.
“Nelly was restrained. There was a struggle and a bit of swearing and then I saw Sian bite Nelly’s ear off. I didn’t see her spit it out.
“Nelly was dazed – she had no idea her ear had been bitten off. I grabbed Sian off and told her to leave, which she did.
“I didn’t see Sian spit the ear out. We tried searching the house for it but didn’t find it.
“I was shocked and disgusted. I was shocked anyone could do that.”
Surgeon said injury consistent with a bite
Ms Mitchell was taken to Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital, where surgeon Girish Bharadwaj was called in to repair her ear.
Mr Bharadwaj, a specialist maxillofacial surgeon, told the court Ms Mitchell had lost a semi-circular section from the top of her right ear, measuring around 1.5 cm by 0.5 cm.
He was forced to cut a further section from her ear in order to rejoin the ends of the missing section, a technique called a “wedge excision”, which has left her right ear smaller than her left.
He said the injury appeared consistent with Ms Mitchell’s account of being bitten.
“The edges were ragged. I couldn’t see any bite marks but there was a ragged edge, which could be a bite mark.
“It’s possible (it was a bite).”
Asked by Marshall’s defence agent whether the injury could have been caused by a piercing being torn from Ms Mitchell’s ear, he said: “Skin doesn’t behave like bone.
“If someone pulled on a piercing it would pull that bit of skin instead of taking taking a small chunk. It would present as a cut rather than a semi-circle.”
He said bruising to Ms Mitchell’s face and arms – including the apparent imprint of a trainer on her left cheek – was considered “superficial” by medical staff.
Marshall, of Hyndloup Terrace, Cardenden, is alleged to have assaulted Chantelle Mitchell at another address on the same street on October 5 2019.
She is said to have seized Ms Mitchell and dragged her from a chair before repeatedly kicking and punching her in the head, stamping on her head and biting her ear, causing part of the flesh to detach.
The incident is said to have left Ms Mitchell severely injured and permanently disfigured.
Marshall denies the charge.
The trial, before Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist, continues.