- Suad Awad bit extended relative Amina Essa at Shepherd's Bush Mosque
- The 41-year-old bit a chunk out of her face before spitting skin on the floor
- Ms Essa said she could 'think of no reason' why there could be bad blood
- Victim has been left needing plastic surgery to heal wound below left eye
- Somali-born Awad admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm but spared jail
A mother-of-two who bit a chunk out of a fellow worshipper's face at a mosque before spitting the skin out on the floor has been spared jail.
Suad Awad, 41, lunged at extended relative Amina Essa at Shepherd's Bush Mosque in west London on May 4, 2013.
Ms Essa, who said she could 'think of no reason why there could be bad blood between them', was left needing plastic surgery for the wound above her left eye.
Awad, a Somali-born unemployed part-time student who lives in Shepherd's Bush, has now pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm at Isleworth Crown Court.
Somali-born Suad Awad, 41 (pictured outside court left), lunged at extended relative Amina Essa (right) at Shepherd's Bush Mosque in west London. She bit a chunk out of her face before spitting the skin on the floor
The court heard that there appeared to be no motive for the incident, although the prosecution hinted at a dispute after Ms Essa apparently made comments about Awad's husband.
Nadeem Holland, prosecuting, said: 'The victim was leaving the mosque after completing her prayers and came across the defendant, who appeared to be entering.
'They are known to each other as members of the same extended family, their grandmothers are sisters.
'Ms Essa could think of no reason there could be bad blood between them, but there was a phone call several months earlier when she was supposed to have made comments about the defendant's husband.
'Ms Essa says the defendant jumped at her and could immediately feel the defendant biting her and heard a crunching noise and heard her spit.
The incident occurred at Shepherd's Bush Mosque in west London (pictured above) on May 4, 2013
'She says: "The blood came down like rain down my face."
'The defendant attempted to bite her a second time on the nose and Ms Essa moved her head and tried to push the defendant away and as she did the defendant bit down on the middle finger of her right hand.
'As Ms Essa tried to pull her finger away the defendant bit again, holding it in her mouth.
'She was shouting: "Let go, help, help" and two women intervened and assisted in getting the defendant off Ms Essa.'
Ms Essa has been receiving ongoing treatment for her wounds, including plastic surgery in which doctors have taken fat from another part of her body to use as a skin graft.
Andrew Sheriff, Awad's lawyer, agreed that there appeared to be no motive for the attack and said it was a 'one-off incident'.
He said: 'The parties can't assist with the motivation for the attack and the probation report suggests cultural or religious differences.
'There was no pre-meditation, she was not following the victim and it seems to be an accidental meeting and resulted in what she describes as an absolute moment of madness.
'This is a one-off incident in her life and there is remorse shown and no suggestion of on-going animosity. She is the sole carer of children aged seven and five.'
Judge Andrew McDowall handed Awad a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years.
He also gave her a two-year probation order and made her the subject of a three-year order prohibiting her from contacting the victim.
Sentencing her, he said: 'There's no explanation for what you did. It has been called a moment of madness, but for your unfortunate victim it is going to be a permanent problem.
'You are saved from an immediate prison sentence by the fact you pleaded guilty, that you have family responsibilities, you are of good character and it would be undue punishment on your children.'
Speaking to the victim, Judge McDowall said: 'I can only express sympathy towards you and if there were means to give you compensation from the defendant I would.
'I can only give advice that you may be eligible for compensation from public monies, but I cannot make any orders.'