Man admits biting off ear in Whispers pub brawl
A man has pleaded guilty to biting off and swallowing part of another man's ear in an East Lothian pub.
Alastair Park, 30, attacked Graeme Aitken in Whispers Lounge Bar in Tranent in April.
Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how Mr Aitken, a Rangers fan, had dared drinkers to fight with him before Park, a rugby fan, bit off his ear.
Sheriff Jarvie deferred sentence on Park until later this month but said he had committed a "most unsavoury" crime.
Park pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting Mr Aitken to his severe injury.
Depute procurator fiscal John Kirk told the court that the assault took place in the evening of 29 April, after an Old Firm game.
He said Mr Aitken came into the pub and started goading drinkers and challenging them to a fight.
Mr Kirk told how a fight broke out between Mr Aitken and Park and the accused was later seen on CCTV swallowing the part of the ear that he had bitten off.
The court heard that the missing section of the ear was never recovered.
Defence solicitor Mark Hutchison told the court Mr Aitken was a "local thug" who had been barred from drinking in Whispers 16 years ago.
He said the fight had started because Park had tried to stop Mr Aitken from hurling sectarian slurs at fellow drinkers.
But Park had not "covered himself in glory" with the way he dealt with the incident.