Priests in violent brawl over parking space

An 80-year-old retired priest allegedly bit an ear off another elderly clergyman during a fight over a parking space.

The punch-up broke out outside an apartment block, which houses three retired Catholic priests, in Perth, Western Australia.

Father Thomas Henry Byrne has appeared in court charged with grievous bodily harm over the incident involving his neighbour, 81-year-old Father Thomas Joseph Cameron Smith.

According to police, after the brawl Father Byrne told Father Smith to pick up an item up on the ground.

It was not until Father Smith returned to his flat that he realised the item he had picked up and put in his pocket was his right ear.

Father Smith wrapped his ear in a tea towel and drove to Dianella Medical Centre, where staff phoned for an ambulance and alerted police.

He was taken to Perth’s Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital where he underwent surgery to save the ear.

Father Byrne sported a black eye when he appeared in East Perth magistrates court where he did not make a plea.

Magistrate Greg Benn ordered that Father Byrne not go within 30ft of Father Smith.

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