A ranting joiner ate the tip of a pensioner's thumb during a terrifying attack after bursting into his victim's home through a window, a court heard yesterday.
Jan Ometak, a 27-year-old Slovakian, made animal noises during the macabre assault and also sank his teeth into Douglas Morgan's face, hand, arm and nipple, Hereford Crown Court was told. Andrew Lockhart, opening the case for the prosecution, said the Jehovah's Witness was described by Mr Morgan, 75, as "like a man possessed" during the onslaught at Lyonshall, near Kington.
The court also heard the sound of the attack was likened by a policeman called to the scene to a fox screaming and a dog gnawing a bone.
Ometak admits the facts of the incident, but has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to attempted murder and an alternative charge of wounding with intent.
Mr Lockhart told a jury of six men and six women that both The Crown and the defence agreed Ometak, of Princess Avenue, Hereford, was responsible for Mr Morgan's injuries.
Asking the jurors to steel themselves for the unpleasant details, Mr Lockhart told them: "The reason the defendant pleaded not guilty is that it will be asserted not that he didn't do the acts that we say he did, but that at the time he did them he was insane in law. What is at issue is his state of mind at the time." The court was told Ometak came to the UK 18 months before launching his attack on Mr Morgan in the early hours of July 2 last year, having secured work at a joinery firm in Pontrilas, Herefordshire.
Mr Morgan was convalescing at home after a heart operation when Ometak smashed his way into his property through a lead-paned kitchen window at one in the morning.
The jury was told colleagues noticed a change in Ometak's behaviour in mid-June last year, when he began to answer back rather than show deference. He quit on June 27 after telling his manager he had a "mission" to complete.
The case was adjourned until tomorrow.