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Woman who bit off chunk of relative's nose at wake has sentence reduced

Jodie Rutley, 21, was sentenced to 12 years for the attack
Jodie Rutley, 21, was sentenced to 12 years for the attack

A woman who bit off a chunk of a relative's nose at a wake has won a three-year cut in her sentence.

Jodie Rutley, 21, was sentenced to 12 years in a Young Offender Institution at Teesside Crown Court in November 2014 over the attack at Guisborough Quoit Social Club the previous February.

She had admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent, wounding with intent and having an offensive weapon.

At the Court of Appeal in London today, three judges agreed that the sentence was excessive, despite the seriousness of the violence, and reduced it to nine years.

Lord Justice Burnett said that Rutley and the other woman disliked each other and, during an argument, Rutley, who had been drinking heavily and had taken cocaine, bit her relative's nose.

"She was locked on to her face and when the two were pulled apart, she took a chunk of the nose with her."

Rutley ran off but then returned and tried to stab the woman in the back with two large kitchen knives. The woman managed to fend her off but was cut on the thumb.

Despite cosmetic surgery to her nose, the woman had been left disfigured and the impact on her had been profound, said the judge.

Rutley, of Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire, who had a number of previous convictions including assault, had suffered serious behavioural problems since her early teens.

She had since expressed her deep remorse for what happened.

The judge said there was no doubt that a substantial custodial sentence was fully justified but the unusual circumstances and the psychiatric reports demonstrated that the original sentence was too long.