Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Rough and Tumble
February 18, 2011: It was around 4 a.m. and English couple Maria Topp, 44, and Martin Douglas, 45, had been on a ten-hour alcohol binge. It's not clear how the fight started, but at one point the two were drunkenly wrestling on the floor, when Topp sank her teeth into Douglass' loins and ripped off his scrotum (reports differ on whether or not he was castrated in the process). In agony Douglass called for an ambulance, not even realizing that Topp had also bitten and scratched his triceps muscle. Topp was arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent, which carries a life sentence. She pleaded to the lesser charge of grievous bodily harm, and was given a suspended sentence after admitting to the court that she had indeed used her teeth in the incident, not her hand as the defense had been arguing up until that point. Their on-again-off-again relationship, which was described by BBC News as having had "difficulties and turbulence" in the past, was ended by the judge with a restraining order against Topp, though a file of past abuses suffered by Topp was delivered to the judge as mitigating evidence of her crime. Douglass made a full recovery, but claims he still bears the psychological scars of the attack, while Topp says she can't remember a thing.
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