I see myself as ugly, ear-bite victim says

ROB KIDD
Last updated 14:39 05/07/2014
Rao
BITER: Anish Rao was jailed for two years and three months for the attack.

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Ritesh Ram will forever carry a reminder of the love triangle he unwittingly became part of.

Not long after starting a relationship with Vikashni Ashari in June last year, the pair were asleep at their New Lynn address.

At 3am a loud noise woke Ram, who went to investigate.

Ashari's ex-partner 28-year-old Anish Rao, had got into the property through the garage and had smashed open a door which led to the house.

Moments later he attacked Ram and bit off the top of his left ear.

After leaving his first victim bloodied, Rao - who had been trespassed from the property three months earlier - then went for the mother of his three-year-old daughter, jumping on the bed and punching her in the face before making his escape.

Despite Ram finding the chunk of his ear on the floor and being rushed to hospital, doctors could not reattach the piece of flesh.

In a victim impact statement read to Auckland District Court yesterday, Ram, 28, said he used to consider himself "a handsome man".

"Every time I look at the mirror and see my left ear, I see myself as ugly with a defected face," he said. "What I lost that night will stay fresh no matter what."

Anish Rao pleaded guilty to a charge of disfiguring with intent to injure and one of assaulting a female.

His lawyer Martin Hislop argued for a sentence of home detention but Judge Brooke Gibson described the offending as "particularly callous and spiteful" and jailed Rao for two years three months.

Hislop said Rao's split from Ashari had left him "obsessed" and the home invasion followed a slew of abusive text messages and phone calls.

"He couldn't let go of a situation where he was excluded," Hislop said.

He said his client regretted his actions but Judge Gibson disagreed.

"I don't see any remorse in the pre-sentence report," he said.

"He attributed the offending to his wife and what he describes as her 'manipulation'."

Despite discounts to Rao's sentence for his previous good character and his adherence to strict bail conditions, Judge Gibson said jail was the only option for the first-time offender.

He was also ordered to pay $500 for the damage to the door.

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