A florist bit a chunk out of her ex-partner's ear as he handed over their son and kissed him goodbye on Christmas Day. Rebecca Dale, 26, disfigured John Booth for life because he dropped their child off 25 minutes late.

The mother was spending Christmas with family and her new boyfriend, with whom she now has another child, when Booth returned their son shortly after the agreed time on the Christmas afternoon of 2015.

As Booth, 31, said his final goodbye to the child, she hurled herself at him, screaming: "Are you taking the piss?" She punched him, cutting his lip, pulled his hair and bit the side of his head. Dale's mother and her new boyfriend then arrived at the scene in Burnage, Manchester, with the latter saying: "Why are you hitting my bird?"

Booth managed to break free and escaped to his car. Only then did he realise that part of his ear had been ripped off by Dale. He went to hospital immediately.

Wayne Jackson, for the prosecution, said: "This was a family gathering so all of the family were there, they all were involved. John Booth phoned for an ambulance and went to hospital where he was medically examined and was found to have had the pinna of his left ear bitten off.

"That piece of his body was missing and the injury is permanently disfiguring as a result of the missing piece," The Sun reported.

Dale admitted causing grievous bodily harm at Manchester Crown Court. She received a suspended sentence after Booth declined to testify against her. The court heard that they have now reconciled their differences and are co-operating with the upbringing of their child.

Judge Martin Rudland said: "This was an example of a happy time in the year where people should be rejoicing and happy and celebrating with each other. Christmas is a time for people to celebrate whatever they wish to celebrate at Christmas time together.

"It is also true that it is a difficult time with relationships, for people to overcome these conflicts and Christmas can highlight the difficulties in the relationships.... You had a scrap with him on the threshold of the house which others became involved in – you reacted rapidly but quite viciously in the way that you acted, by biting his ear."