A man bit off part of his vulnerable friend's left ear before severing his right ear with a knife.

Stephen Cooke, 26, launched a "gruesome" attack on Liam Ford, 21, after a cocaine-fuelled afternoon bender.

The victim was asleep in bed with his girlfriend when Cooke woke him up and sunk his teeth into his left ear.

He then dragged Mr Ford to the kitchen, where he took a nine inch blade and partially amputated his right ear.

The terrified victim, his partner and cousin fled the blood-spattered home by climbing out of a bedroom window.

And armed police swooped after the "ranting and raving" knifeman confronted a dog walker on a mobility scooter.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Mr Ford had "a range of vulnerabilities" and described Cooke, of Mill Lane, Liscard, as a friend.

Charlotte Atherton, prosecuting, said "all parties had been drinking" and medical notes suggested Mr Ford had taken cocaine.

Neighbours heard Mr Ford arguing with a woman at his Grant Road, Leasowe home at around 2.30pm and then a "fight" at 4pm.

Ms Atherton said the victim later told police "there had been a dispute about some drugs and that was the reason for the incident".

He awoke to find Cooke standing over him, shouting "I'm going to f***ing kill you", and said he tried to reason with him, but Cooke went "nuts".

Pictured is Liverpool Crown Court

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Ms Atherton said: "He says the defendant gripped him on the bed, leaned over and bit his left ear, then placed him in what he describes as a 'choker'."

Cooke dragged Mr Ford to the hallway and stamped on him, before the victim "crawled" to the kitchen, where Cooke "selected a knife".

He cut off part of his right ear, stabbed him in the side of the head and back, then punched and stamped on him repeatedly.

Mr Ford's girlfriend Casey Trevitt heard his cousin Lauren Cloy shout "get off him" and found her partner "on the floor in a pool of blood trying to get up".

She said Cooke was "laying into him, punching him and smashing his head on the floor" and Ms Cloy screamed: "He's dead, stop it!"

The court heard Cooke replied: "I don't care, I'm the skinniest lad in the world but I can do this to you."

Ms Cloy was sleeping in the front room when she heard her cousin call her name and found Cooke banging his head against a worktop and strangling him.

She tried to intervene, but said Cooke warned: "Do you want to be next?"

After they escaped, Cooke headed to a nearby field, where he came across Soraya Sperring walking her dog.

Ms Sperring said Cooke was "ranting and raving" before he threw the knife into the grass.

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He was arrested by armed police, who said he was "verbally abusive" and on drink or drugs.

Mr Ford suffered a 3cm cut to his head, a cut to his back and "partial amputations" to his ears.

Ms Atherton said: "One of them was essentially bitten off and the other was cut off."

The victim said he now cannot sleep and has recurring nightmares, with the attack "playing like a video repeatedly in his mind".

He constantly shakes, doesn't want to see anyone and described the way he now looks as "wrecking his identity".

Mr Ford, whose ears became infected, is on painkillers plus antidepressants and anti-sickness medicine for stress and anxiety.

Ms Atherton said: "Overall he describes a sense of feeling self-conscious about the way that he looks, not feeling safe, and describes the defendant as having wrecked his life."

When interviewed, Cooke denied any wrongdoing and claimed he had no memory of the attack and had been misidentified.

He later admitted wounding, but denied wounding with intent and possessing a knife in public, only to plead guilty ahead of a trial.

Cooke has 18 previous convictions for 20 offences.

He was jailed for five months for possessing a hammer in public in 2016 and for six months for having a knife in public in 2017.

Daniel Travers, defending, said his client was last convicted of common assault in March 2019 after spitting at someone.

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He said: "These two men were friends. The defendant himself has had difficulties and in a different position could be considered vulnerable himself."

Mr Travers said Cooke didn't take the weapon to the scene and while Mr Ford's injuries were "gruesome", they were not life threatening.

He said cutting off the victim's ear was "dreadful", but suggested an extended sentence wasn't required to protect the public because his client didn't have any previous convictions for using weapons or serious violence.

Recorder Simon Parrington said photos of the victim showed "the partial amputation of both ears" and his statement described "serious psychological trauma of a lasting nature".

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The judge said: "This was a wholly unprovoked attack on what I consider to be a vulnerable man."

Jailing Cooke for nine years, with an extended two years on licence, he said: "You are dangerous and will remain so in the future."

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Cooke must spend at least two thirds of the sentence - six years - behind bars.

He will only be released before the end of his sentence if a parole board considers he is no longer a risk to the public.