Student who had ear partially bitten off refuses to condemn attacker

A STUDENT who had a chunk of his ear bitten off while trying to break up a fight said today he could not condemn his attacker – despite facing lengthy reconstructive surgery.

Steve Meloni, 21, was attacked by 19-year-old Rory Clark outside the Hive nightclub in Niddry Street, Edinburgh.

Clark yesterday admitted the attack in court after telling police he was so drunk he had little recollection of the night.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Today Mr Meloni said he was just pleased that the teenager had pleaded guilty, sparing him from having to relive the event in court.

Mr Meloni had been inside the club celebrating a friend's birthday on 28 February this year when he went outside for a cigarette and saw a fight break out between Clark and a friend of the birthday girl.

He said: "I'm not sure how it got to fists but I started to break the situation up – which wasn't a good idea at all, it turned out. I tried to break up the fight and got hit in the face. I got him on the ground, then I got pulled off and walked away – and then he jumped on my back and bit my ear.

"I realised he must have bitten me quite hard but I didn't realise he'd taken it until someone told me. I've no idea what happened to it – the police looked for it but couldn't find it. The shock must have stopped it hurting at first, but there was a lot of blood."

Mr Meloni was taken to the ERI and in the following days had skin grafted from the back of his left ear to heal the wounded right ear.

He said: "It took a while to sink in really. It hit me after a couple of days in hospital. The first day I saw it was a bit of a shock. The other shock was that when I got to hospital they gave me jabs against things like hepatitis."

Since the attack, Mr Meloni, who is studying languages, tourism and marketing at Napier University, has seen four surgeons in the hope of finding one who can reconstruct his ear, but they have advised him they will not be able to undo the damage and have referred him to a surgeon in Paris, who he hopes will be able to restore its appearance.

He said: "I always spot people looking at it. I try not to be self-conscious, but it is hard."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Despite the pain and disfigurement, he said he would not condemn his attacker.

"It was a really, really foolish thing to do but I've not heard his side of things.

"I'm obviously very annoyed with him, but people can't control their alcohol. It's a common problem, but it's not for me to judge him in the end.

"If he's pleaded guilty, then that's a good thing."

Sheriff Roderick MacLeod yesterday deferred sentence on Clark, of Brunstane Road, for background reports until next month, when pleas in mitigation will also be heard.