Scarborough man jailed for five years for 'horrific' ear-biting incident at casino in 'scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie'

A man involved in a violent confrontation at a Scarborough casino has been jailed for five years.
A man involved in a violent confrontation at a Scarborough casino has been jailed for five years.A man involved in a violent confrontation at a Scarborough casino has been jailed for five years.
A man involved in a violent confrontation at a Scarborough casino has been jailed for five years.

The incident happened in the smoking area of the Opera House Casino on St Thomas Street at around 5.30am on Saturday, December 18, 2021.

Christopher Bowes, 52, Trafalgar Square, Scarborough, was sentenced at York Crown Court today, Friday, December 1.

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Following a retrial, he was found guilty on Thursday, November 23 of section 18 wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

His victim was Craig Andrew Smythe, 36, from Eastfield, Scarborough, who had part of his left ear bitten off by Bowes.

In retaliation, Smythe threw his drinking glass at Bowes’ head causing a serious cut.

A piece of the shattered glass struck the arm of an innocent bystander, a local woman who was aged 19 at the time.

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All three required emergency hospital treatment for their injuries.

Bowes and Smythe were arrested and released on conditional bail as Scarborough and Ryedale CID progressed the investigation.

While Bowes pleaded not guilty to the charge which he later contested at court, Smythe pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity to affray and section 20 wounding without intent to cause grievous bodily harm to the innocent bystander.

Smythe is due to sentenced on January 8, 2024.

Smythe said he was offered plastic surgery to rebuild his damaged ear, but he said this was not progressed due to issues caused by the pandemic.

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He added: “I was unable to sleep properly for over three months as it was on the side I sleep. Since this happened, I now wear a woolly hat to cover up that ear. This is even in the summertime.

“I have only been out into town one since this incident as it has made me wary.

“I lost weight and was unable to work for several months. I still get pain in that ear due to the nerve endings. It causes pain and discomfort.”

Detective Constable Steve Monty, of Scarborough and Ryedale CID, said:

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“The level of violence displayed in this incident was truly horrific. It more like a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie than what you would expect in a licenced premise in Scarborough.

“Such violence cannot be tolerated, and Bowes has been suitably punished by the court for what he has done.

“Smythe will be dealt with next month for his part in the incident. He has been left permanently disfigured by Bowes which is horrendous.

“But there is also an innocent young woman who lives with a scar on her arm and remains frightened to go out socially because of what happened that night.”