A man sunk his teeth into his sister's ex-boyfriend when a family feud erupted in an Asda car park.

Anthony Douglas learned Ryan Arnold was at Asda Huyton, after an "acrimonious" break-up with his sister, Marie Douglas.

Liverpool Crown Court today heard 30-year-old Douglas got in a car with his dad James Snow and went looking for Mr Arnold.

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CCTV cameras captured what followed, as he bit Mr Arnold in the exact place the victim had previously suffered another bite.

David Watson, prosecuting, said Mr Arnold and Miss Douglas had a five-year-old child together.

However, by February 22, 2020, they had been separated "in what was apparently an acrimonious split" for around six to eight months.

Mr Watson said Mr Arnold had started a new relationship with a woman called Fay Murray, with whom he had fathered twins, who at the time were ill.

He said Mr Arnold and Miss Murray went to the Asda store at around 9.30pm, when Miss Murray went in the shop and Mr Arnold remained in his Ford Galaxy.

The prosecutor said: "He was aware that the defendant's girlfriend Sophie McCormick worked in that branch of Asda and didn't want her to see him, or be aware of his new vehicle.

"Evidently, Sophie McCormick on seeing Faye Murray did contact the defendant."

Anthony Douglas blamed his victim in a pre-sentence report but later abandoned the claims
Anthony Douglas blamed his victim in a pre-sentence report but later abandoned the claims

Douglas turned up at the store with his dad at around 9.50pm.

He was seen running into the supermarket and saying "where is he?" before he approached Mr Arnold and shouted: "Alright Ryan."

Mr Watson said the victim was concerned his car would be damaged so got out, with the engine still running, but Douglas "jumped into the driver's seat" and drove the Ford around the car park.

He said: "Ryan Arnold's next recollection is the defendant and James Snow standing directly in front of him, calling him a 'grass' and a 'rat'.

"The defendant, who can be seen to be in a highly animated, agitated state throughout on the CCTV footage, is seen to lean into Ryan Arnold, who describes himself being bitten to the left ear."

Miss Murray rang the police and Mr Arnold described himself as being "frightened and confused" and "in a lot of pain and distress".

He went to Whiston Hospital, where he was treated for two 1cm bite marks to either side of his left ear, which required stitches.

Mr Watson said the bite was in the same place as a significant bite injury, which he suffered around 10 years earlier.

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He said the victim needed a tetanus booster and three months later still had pain in his ear, already disfigured by the previous bite.

Douglas was arrested at home on February 24 and denied the attack, but ahead of a trial in September admitted wounding.

Mr Watson said Mr Arnold was now back in a relationship with Miss Douglas, adding: "I can confirm as far as I know that remains the position."

Douglas, of Mardale Road, Huyton, has four previous convictions for six offences, including dishonesty.

He was fined in October 2020 after threatening to damage his mum's windows.

Desmond Lennon, defending, said his client accepted his guilt, despite claims made in a pre-sentence report.

He said: "It's an absolute acceptance and admittance of headbutting Mr Arnold and biting his ear.

Mr Lennon added: "He's sorry and ashamed for what he has done."

The barrister said Douglas, who has cystic fibrosis, diabetes and arthritis, endured "a very difficult childhood".

He said Douglas had been in a stable relationship with his girlfriend - sitting in the public gallery - for five years and they hoped to start a family.

Mr Lennon said Douglas had responsibility for a 17-year-old sister, who lives with him and his partner and is at college, and that both she and his girlfriend would suffer if he was jailed.

The lawyer said: "He has stopped smoking cannabis, he's stopped drinking and is behaving in a more restrained way as a result."

Mr Lennon said Douglas would find prison difficult because of his health and rehabilitation was more likely if he addressed the root cause of his offending.

Judge Gary Woodhall said "for whatever reason" there was "history" between Douglas and Mr Arnold, following his victim's "acrimonious split" with his sister.

The judge said: "You were contacted and told, I have no doubt, there had been either a confrontation inside [Asda] or that his partner was inside, and therefore you wanted to intervene.

"As you describe it yourself, you had seen red, you were pumped up, you were angry, you were agitated."

He added: "You were driven by your father around that car park, I have no doubt, to look for or find Mr Arnold."

Pictured is Liverpool Crown Court

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Judge Woodhall said: "He had not been involved in whatever had gone on in the store."

The judge said Douglas got in Mr Arnold's car and drove it around "to wind him up", before confronting him.

He said: "The CCTV footage shows you're highly animated and agitated, unlike your victim.

"You walked up to him, pulled his head in towards you and bit his ear."

Judge Woodhall said: "Your sister and Mr Arnold are now reconciled. That causes some concern because it means Mr Arnold is still in the family."

Anthony Douglas walked free from court with his girlfriend
Anthony Douglas walked free from court with his girlfriend

The judge said he had to sentence Douglas in a way to best manage future risk and noted in the report "you sought to blame your victim".

He said Douglas claimed he had felt "threatened", but "Mr Arnold was on his own and you and your father sought him out, not the other way round".

Judge Woodhall said Douglas was unfit to work, his partner was his full time carer and accepted he had difficulties in childhood.

He agreed Douglas had "a realistic prospect of rehabilitation" and handed him 45 weeks - around 10 months - in prison, suspended for 12 months.

The judge imposed a six-month home curfew, between 8pm and 6am daily, a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and £900 court costs.

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