A construction worker from Myanmar who bit off a thumb-sized chunk of his colleague's ear was on Tuesday sentenced to 15 months in jail.
Min Min Hteik, 28, bit his countryman and colleague, Mr Naing Win, in the right ear while in a dormitory room the two men shared. The act, which came at the end of an unprovoked and prolonged attack last December, ripped a 4cm x 1cm segment off Mr Naing's ear and left him permanently disfigured.
Min pleaded guilty to voluntarily causing grievous hurt to his victim. When asked by the district court why he had attacked his dorm-mate, he said through an interpreter: "I am sorry your honour, at this time I was so drunk." But Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Koh pointed out that Min was not too drunk to know what he was doing. She added that voluntary intoxication leading to a violent offence was an aggravating factor.
On Dec 4 last year, Min had returned to his dormitory room in Boon Lay after drinking with a friend. Mr Naing was lying on the floor and using his mobile phone. Min shouted at him and kicked him. He then used a broomstick to hit his victim. Other residents tried to restrain him, but Min broke free, took a slipper from the nearby shoe rack and continud to hit Mr Naing. It was then that the biting happened.
The maximum penalty for the offence is seven years in jail, a fine, and caning.