Finger-biter's appeals dismissed

Last updated 05:00 25/09/2012

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An appeal lodged by an Invercargill man who caused a woman to lose the tips of two of her fingers after he bit her has been dismissed.

David Milne Checketts, 56, of Wallacetown, was sentenced in Invercargill District Court in May by Judge Kevin Phillips to three years' jail and ordered to pay $20,000 emotional harm reparation for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after a jury earlier found him guilty.

A written decision of the Court of Appeal says Checketts appealed his conviction, claiming the jury could not have been satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he was guilty of the charge.

However, he accepted he had bitten two of his flatmate's fingers during an argument and the tips of the fingers had been amputated, the decision says.

Checketts' lawyer referred to disparities in the evidence given at trial about where the incident occurred and the nature of the biting, it says.

The appeal against the conviction was dismissed.

Checketts also appealed his sentence, saying the $20,000 emotional harm reparation was excessive. He did not appeal his jail sentence.

Checketts' lawyer accepted if the appeal was successful he would be re-sentenced and following a reduction in the reparation amount his prison term would be increased, the decision says.

This was because at his sentencing he had been given a discount for the reparation payment, it says.

The appeal against his sentence was abandoned.

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- The Southland Times

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