A Woodhill prisoner who was jailed again for biting off another man’s ear was described as "courteous" by a judge after the inmate apologised to him for not having "a proper shirt."
Paul Jones grabbed fellow inmate Azhar Hussain and bit off the outer rim of his ear before spitting it onto the floor and choke-slamming his victim into a table, a court has heard.
When the 43-year-old arrived in court he apologised to the judge for wearing only a grey prison tracksuit, explaining that he had been unable to obtain a white shirt before the hearing.
The court heard Jones was one of the only openly Jewish men in his prison block and a majority of inmates who were of a different religion had asked him to move cells - a request which Jones refused.
Fearing an imminent attack, Jones sneaked up on one of the inmates he believed was intimidating him - Hussain - after an exercise session, the court heard.
Prosecuting, Charles Digby said: “He bit him on the ear, so hard that he bit off the pinna, the outer rim of the ear. He also must have been a very strong man, because he grabbed hold of him by the neck and slammed him onto a table.”
Prison staff rushed in to break up the fight which ensued and took Hussain to hospital, Judge Francis Sheridan was told.
Mr Digby added: “A bit of his ear was found on the floor. I cannot say from the medical reports I have seen that they did more than stitch it up.”
Counsel revealed that Jones had a number of previous convictions stretching back to 1994 for burglaries, thefts and violence. He had just been jailed in August 2017 before he committed the offence in Woodhill Prison, Milton Keynes, in September the same year.
Defending Jones, Christopher Johnston said: “Woodhill was, at the time, subject to violence within it. It is right to describe in that way and the officers had been short on staff.
“There was a regime whereby a certain cohort of prisoners were effectively in charge of certain wings. He [Jones] entered as a Jewish man. Predominately people in his block were of a different faith. He was asked to move cells to make room for people of their own faith.
“He says he was subject to intimidation prior to the incident, he felt very isolated. He feared attack from the men and he took a step too far.”
The lawyer added that Jones had been working in the laundry room at Bullingdon, where he had been transferred to, and had been offered work by the company which collects the laundry from the prison once he was released.
Judge Sheridan, sitting at Aylesbury Crown Court, sentenced Jones to 18 months imprisonment for causing grievous bodily harm, which the defendant had admitted.
Jones saluted to the judge as he left the dock and said: “Thanks very much sir, sorry to bother you.”
Judge Sheridan watched the man be led away by the dock officer, then remarked to counsel: “He is always very courteous.”
Mr Johnston, smiling, said: “You remember him your honour, as he remembers you."