A 21-year-old Suffolk man who bit a former friend on the leg during an argument has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Sentencing Kenny Sheldrick at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge Martyn Levett described the three or four bite marks as unpleasant and said that biting someone was the equivalent of using a weapon.

Sheldrick, who was homeless at the time of the incident, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, two offences of criminal damage and breach of a suspended sentence order.

He was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years, a 60-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work.

Sheldrick was also banned from contacting the victim of the assault for five years.

Matthew Edwards, prosecuting, said that on February 13 this year Sheldrick had gone to his grandmother’s home in Lowestoft and asked for money.

When she gave him £5 he had “gone berserk” and damaged her television, curtains and her BT and Sky boxes.

He had then gone next door to his great-aunt’s house and damaged her garden fence.

She had called the police and described him as being “as drunk as a skunk”.

Later the same evening Sheldrick went to a friend’s house claiming he’d been robbed and asking to use his phone.

The friend and his partner didn’t want him in their home because of his demeanour and Sheldrick had become violent and bit his friend on the leg several times.

The police were called and Sheldrick was arrested in Denmark Road, Lowestoft.

In a statement read to the court the victim of the assault said he’d had to have tetanus and hepatitis injections following the incident and had moved house.

Andrew Thompson, for Sheldrick, said his client had been in custody for eight months and had been a model prisoner.

He said Sheldrick had a history of alcohol and class B drug abuse and was homeless at the time of the offences.