It’s certainly a bizarrely troubling story. The disturbing and head-scratching alleged tale of Father Thomas Henry Byrne biting off fellow priest Father Thomas Joseph Cameron Smith’s ear during a recent brawl brings back images of the infamous 1997 Evander Holyfield versus Mike Tyson fight (as you’ll recall, Tyson bit off a portion of Holyfield’s right ear).
Byrne purportedly used his teeth to tear off Smith’s ear, while the two were having a rip-roar fight in a parking lot in Perth, Australia, on Friday. The men, both retired clergymen, are ages 80 and 81. The object of their angst? According to The Huffington Post, the two were reportedly clashing over Smith’s parking spot, which he was refusing to give up.
After the brawl concluded, Smith promptly picked up flesh (Byrne apparently told him to collect it) that was on the ground near where the spat took place. Later, he realized that what he had stowed away in his pocket was his ear. He promptly called for medical assistance and the police subsequently arrested Byrne.
Considering that Smith is in the hospital recovering from surgery, he was not able to attend a East Perth’s Magistrates Court hearing. Byrne, though, did show up, with his own physical injuries on full display — the most obvious of which was a black eye. While the alleged ear-biting priest doesn’t have a record, prosecutor Chris Lawler expressed concern over allowing the elderly priest out on bail.
“They live in the same complex but they are both funded by the Catholic Church,” Lawler told the court of Byrne and Smith.
As a result, Magistrate Greg Benn imposed some strict bail provisions, including one demand that Byrne stay at least 30 feet away from Smith. Obviously, threatening his fellow clergyman is out of the question as well. The next court appearance that Byrne will make is December 7.
(H/T: Daily Mail)