Engineer jailed while girlfriend spared prison after bar worker’s ear bitten in Ipswich pub brawl

Laurence Ruffles who was jailed for 12 months for affray

Laurence Ruffles who was jailed for 12 months for affray - Credit: Archant

An engineer who drew blood when biting a bar worker’s ear during a fracas at an Ipswich pub has been jailed.

Laurence Ruffles was imprisoned for 12 months while his girlfriend Rebecca Merritt was spared jail for her part in the brawl at The Cricketer’s in Crown Street.

The pair, both of Cavendish Street, Ipswich, had previously pleaded guilty to affray prior to their sentencing at the town’s crown court.

The disturbance erupted between 9pm and 9.15pm on December 21, two days before Ruffles 39th birthday.

Ruffles and Merritt had been drinking. Merritt went to the toilet and became involved in an altercation with another female.

As a consequence Ruffles and his 34-year-old partner were asked to leave the pub, but neither wanted to go.

They were said to have become very aggressive and violent.

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A melee ensued during which Merritt scratched the female bar manager’s chest. Ruffles then got the bar manager in a headlock.

During the incident Ruffles headbutted a male member of staff and bit him on the ear, causing it to bleed.

Other pub workers and drinkers tried to intervene. Another male member of staff was spat at and had his glasses smashed. A sign outside the pub was also damaged.

Police were called and Ruffles and Merritt were arrested.

In addition to his jail term Ruffles was ordered to pay £100 to the victims’ fund.

Merritt was given a six-month prison term, suspended for 12 months. This included a supervision requirement during that time.

The clerical assistant must also pay compensation of £179 and costs of £500. In addition Merritt was ordered to pay £80 to the victims’ fund.