A JEALOUS boyfriend who bit a chunk of his girlfriend’s lip off escaped jail this week.
Pretty Nichole Churchett had aspirations of becoming a model only to see those dreams shattered during a frenzied late-night attack back in March last year.
Her then boyfriend Chris Chaloner, 24, grabbed the 22-year-old blonde and bit down hard on her mouth after the pair began arguing over text messages found on her phone.
Chaloner, of St Helens Road, appeared in court last year, admitting wounding but denying he intended to chew her lip off. He was cleared of the more serious charge following a week-long trial, but not before jurors had been shown a string of shocking images of Miss Churchett’s injuries and heard a frantic 999 call made by Chaloner during which the scaffolder admitted: “I have bitten her lip off”.
Miss Churchett also described the ferocity of the attack and how she initially mistook the blood pouring from her face as her boyfriend’s saliva.
Chaloner was back at Lewes Crown Court this week (Monday) to be sentenced for the less-severe wounding charge.
But, despite being previously warned he faced jail, he escaped with a 12-month spell suspended for two years.
The victim – who had started working at an architect’s firm in Rye after getting three As at A-level from West Kent College – has since emigrated to Australia after struggling to get over the psychological and physical impact of the attack.
In a statement read out in court, she said she believed she had given up on her modelling plans despite surgery to repair her scarred face. “Modelling has always been on the cards for me,” she said. “But because of the injury to my lip I now feel this opportunity has been taken away from me. I don’t feel confident enough.
“I feel really angry about this because he didn’t have the right to take that away from me.
“I also feel the injury is going to affect my future relationships and I am not going to be able to trust anyone.”
Chaloner, who had earlier told the court he had contemplated suicide after the attack as he struggled with guilt, was also ordered to pay compensation to his ex of £750 and carry out 300 hours of community service.