Judge brands bite attack as ‘very chilling’

Dane Hodkinson, who was jailed for 13 years after biting off a taxi driver's ear
Dane Hodkinson, who was jailed for 13 years after biting off a taxi driver's ear
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A DRUNKEN thug who savagely bit off part of a taxi driver’s ear just months after biting another man has been sent to jail for 13 years.

Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, told Dane Hodkinson: “Using your teeth again as your weapon of choice, I find that very chilling and very troubling.”

He ruled that 26-year-old Hodkinson was a dangerous offender and imposed a nine year custodial sentence with a four year extended licence, of which he will serve six years behind bars. Hodkinson, of Westleigh Lane, Leigh, had pleaded guilty to wounding with intent.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that about 5am on July 13 this year Christopher Harrison went to the McDonald’s restaurant at the Linkway in St Helens to collect a fare, Hodkinson. CCTV footage played to the judge showed Hodkinson getting into the front passenger seat where he twice punched the driver after he asked if he had the fare, which he did not.

The men then got out and punches were exchanged.

The judge said: “You launched a frenzied attack with your fists and with your feet.

“You tried to bite his ear off, you bit his elbow and fingers, kicked and stamped on him as he lay on the ground. You took his keys off him and threw them at him and such was your contempt for him that you laughed,” said Judge Goldstone. Tom Watson, prosecuting, said that after being arrested by police, Hodkinson, who had drunk 20 pints followed by jaeger bombs at a wedding in St Helens, continued to be aggressive and smashed his head on the inside of the police van and tried to say they had assaulted him but the incident was caught on CCTV.

When he sobered up he said he remembered being in a “scuffle”. Robert Haygarth, defending, said that after being shown the CCTV Hodkinson said that he was ashamed and wished to apologise.

The “persistent and vicious attack” on Christopher Harrison, has left him physically and emotionally scarred and he has had to give up his livelihood.

Judge Clement Goldstone said Hodkinson’s “animal behaviour” had caused his victim “excruciating pain and it must have been a most terrifying experience.

“He had to sell his cab and feels not surprisingly unable ever to return to work as a taxi driver.”

As well as depression and high blood pressure he now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, he added.