A MAN has been told he could face prison after he bit a suspected love rival so hard he needed an operation.

Gary Jones was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following his trial at Dorchester Crown Court.

Jones, of Bayard Road, Weymouth, attacked Jonathan Storey because he thought he was dating his former partner, the jury heard.

He bit Mr Storey’s thumb so hard in the incident on The Esplanade in Weymouth in December 2012 that the victim needed an operation.

Jones, 43, has been told by Judge Roger Jarvis that ‘all sentencing options are open’ because he has a previous conviction for a similar offence.

Judge Jarvis said: “You have now been convicted of a serious assault because in this assault you used your teeth as a weapon and a consequence of that is that all sentencing options are open – especially against the background of you having a previous conviction of another matter which has undertones of that which you have now been convicted.

“It is plain you have trouble with your temper and the ability to control it.”

Earlier in the trial, Jones said he had been acting in self-defence and had ‘no opportunity to withdraw’ from the fight that developed with Mr Storey.

Mr Storey said that Jones had confronted him earlier in the evening but he had managed to calm him down. He said he told Jones: “We’re grown men, there’s no need for this.”

He said Jones was ‘wild’, ‘very very agitated’ and had ‘obviously been drinking.’ Mr Storey said after he left Finn’s pub in Westham Road in the early hours, Jones followed him, tried to punch him, pulled him to the floor and bit him.

He said that when he got free he called the police – and Jones punched him in the head, knocking the phone away.

He said he fell into the road and couldn’t remember much after that because his head was bleeding.

Jones is due to be sentenced on February 21.