A MAN had his ear bitten as he was attacked in a Kendal park, a court heard.

Victim Oliver Clarkson received an anti-hepatitis injection in hospital after he was set upon at Gooseholme, and also needed stitches to repair a "nasty wound" he sustained.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that injury was caused by 23-year-old Dane Jake Johnston, who waded into violence which was started by Stuart John Grady, 29.

Johnston and Grady were sentenced this week - almost two-and-a-half years after the attack occurred, in June 2015. Both men admitted assaulting Mr Clarkson, causing actual bodily harm.

Elizabeth Evans, prosecuting, said Mr Clarkson went to the park with friends. They recognised Grady, who approached and asked for a cigarette. When his request was refused Grady jumped on Mr Clarkson, knocking him to the ground.

"What then happened is that an altercation took place," said Miss Evans. "A number of males came over to join in, including Mr Johnston."

The court heard Mr Clarkson felt himself being kicked and punched while on the floor. His girlfriend desperately tried to pull attackers off him, and another witness was struck while attempting to intervene.

Johnston then bit Mr Clarkson's ear, the court heard. "It is at this point when all parties backed off," said Miss Evans. Police were alerted.

Nicholas Flanagan gave mitigation for Grady, who at the time "thought he had been wronged". "He made an ill-judged decision to start a fight," Mr Flanagan conceded.

Johnston, meanwhile, had not been in trouble since the incident. A probation officer said of Johnston: "He knows that he has done wrong and he is sorry for what has happened."

Judge Peter Hughes QC gave Grady, of no fixed address, a 12-month conditional discharge. Johnston, of Sparrowmire Lane, Kendal, received an 18-month community order comprising 100 hours' unpaid work and 25 days' rehabilitation.

Judge Hughes said both men, along with the victim and witnesses, had been "let down by the judicial system". This was due to a "wholly unacceptable" delay in bringing the matter to court.

Judge Hughes demanded a full report which detailed what had happened since the incident was first reported to police.