An Irishman who had part of his ear bitten off in a drunken altercation during St Patrick's Day celebrations hopes the prison sentence given to his attacker will send a strong warning about alcohol-related violence.
Dean Mac Siomoin, 36, had been out celebrating on March 17 last year when he was attacked outside a Subiaco hotel in the early hours of the morning on March 18.
Terrence Patrick O'Neill, 44, bit off part of his left ear, the Perth District Court was told.
O'Neill was sentenced yesterday to two years and 10 months jail after he was convicted of unlawful wounding with intent to maim, disfigure or do grievous bodily harm at a jury trial last month.
Mr Mac Siomoin, an electrician who moved to Australia from Dublin seven years ago, spent five days in hospital where he had two operations and was unable to work for three weeks.
The missing part of his ear was not found and he is on a waiting list for reconstructive surgery.
Outside court yesterday, Mr Mac Siomoin said O'Neill's sentence was a great result.
He hoped it would send a strong message that alcohol-related violence in the community was unacceptable and that perpetrators could expect jail terms.
"It was hard to come to terms with what happened because I didn't actually get a chance to defend myself and probably the hardest thing for me was that I was just blindsided," he said.
"It does get a bit easier as time passes but I don't go out on my own any more and I always make sure I'm with my mates."
The court was told O'Neill, who was described as a devoted father of four, had been out celebrating St Patrick's Day with his two sons before the assault.
Prosecutor Jerome Rivalland told the court Mr Mac Siomoin was getting to his feet after a scuffle with O'Neill's sons when he was attacked from behind by O'Neill.
Judge Anthony Derrick described the attack as "vicious and cowardly" and Mr Mac Siomoin did "absolutely nothing" to provoke O'Neill.
He said there was simply no reason for him to attack Mr Mac Siomoin in the way he did. "At the end of the day, you performed a vicious attack on a man who was essentially defenceless," Judge Derrick said.
O'Neill, whose sentence was backdated to last month, will be eligible for parole after 17 months.