A GRIEVING Halesowen man who savagely bit a man on the neck after he had downed a considerable amount of alcohol has been spared a prison sentence.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard Mark Blakeway lashed out because he was still felt extreme sadness over the early death of his younger brother Richard who died after a single blow from another man in a pub incident.

Alexander Jacobs defending said: "He was still suffering the effects of the premature death of his brother and he just needed an excuse to explode."

He told the court 23-year-old Blakeway believed his sister Cheryl was being chatted up by Benjamin Archer who was racially abused before being bitten on the neck at the Royal Oak pub in Rowley Regis where Cheryl worked.

Mr Jacobs said: "The time has come when he has to stop using the death of his brother as an excuse for his behaviour and this can only be done with help."

Blakeway, of Spiral Close, admitted racially aggravated assault and was given a two year community order and 60 hours community punishment.

Recorder Colin Goodier told him he had narrowly avoided going straight into custody. He said: "You resorted to using your teeth as a weapon in a very unpleasant attack during which you used grossly offensive language.

"But I accept that you are still affected by grief and that, in part, is the explanation for this explosion."

Miss Alka Brigue prosecuting said Mr Archer was also a part-time staff member at the pub but, on the night in question, was a customer and Blakeway snapped when he saw his sister kiss him goodbye on the cheek as she left.

Miss Brigue said: "He grabbed Mr Archer by the throat and racially abused him but Mr Archer explained that he had a girlfriend and he was simply one of Cheryl's workmates."

But Blakeway then sank his teeth into the neck of the other man causing him immense pain before being pulled away and after his arrest, he admitted he had drunk eight pints together with cans of beer and a number of shorts.

The court was told Richard Blakeway died after being punched in December 2007 and his attacker was later put behind bars for manslaughter.