It's always awkward bumping into a former lover - especially if you have recently been dumped without warning.
So when accountant Louise Croxson met her ex-boyfriend a few weeks after he ditched her, she was understandably feeling rather bitter.
Unfortunately, she took her anger a little further than most - and ended up biting his ear off.
The 32-year-old lunged forward and sank her teeth into Andrew Robbins after a pub night out with mutual friends descended into a drunken row between the couple.
Croxson ignored his screams of agony and kept her jaw locked on to his earlobe until it was completely severed. To the horror of onlookers, she then spat the mangled piece of flesh on to the pub floor.
It was saved only because a quick-thinking member of the bar staff picked it up and put it on ice. Mr Robbins, a 35-year- old financial analyst, had emergency surgery to have his ear sewn back on.
Until a few weeks earlier he and Croxson had been in a 'loving' relationship, Southwark Crown Court heard.
They lived together in a £350,000 ground-floor flat in Islington, North London, and were both members of the Serpentine Running Club, based in Hyde Park.
But Mr Robbins 'quite suddenly' broke up with Croxson late last year, after two years together, leaving her 'anxious and unhappy.' Soon afterwards, they both turned up at one of the running club's social events at a Central London pub.
Prosecutor Peter Zinner said: 'During the course of the evening they were civil to each other, but felt uncomfortable being in the same place. They tolerated each other's presence and managed to engage in group conversation.
'At around 9pm Miss Croxson, in all probability accidentally, spilt a pint of beer over Mr Robbins. Remarks were exchanged and an argument broke out.
'Suddenly the defendant went for the victim. She leaned over and bit his ear. The piece of flesh was then spat out by the defendant on to the floor.
'Fortunately it was recovered by one of the bar persons, who placed it in an ice bucket and kept it fresh.'
After surgery, the lobe was restored in a fully functional state, but with some minor scarring.
Mr Zinner added: 'The Crown accept this was not premeditated, but a spur-of-the-moment attack, perhaps following the distress of the breakdown of the relationship.'
Croxson admitted wounding Mr Robbins in the attack on December 28 last year.
She bowed her head in apparent shame as Judge John Price told her: 'It is a sad, sad case. What you did was appalling. If you do meet him again, I hope there will be civility and nothing else.'
In a victim impact statement, Mr Robbins said he bore 'no ill-will or bad feelings' towards her, but felt she needed to accept responsibility for her actions.
Croxson was given a two-year community punishment order and ordered to undergo a mental health treatment programme. She was also told to pay £1,000 in compensation plus £250 towards costs.
Last night she declined to comment on the case.