A drunken Australian man had his fingertip bitten off by a Hong Kong taxi driver during an argument over cleaning up vomit, a court report said Tuesday.

Taxi driver Hui Man-yu, 54, was sentenced to 160 hours of community service after admitting to the assault on Australian Caleb Chau in November last year, wire service DPA reports.

The fingertip was recovered from the vomit and sewn back onto Chau, according to the South China Morning Post.

Hui told the Hong Kong magistrate's court he only wanted Chau to clean up his own vomit.

The court was told Chau responded to the request by mocking Hui and putting him in an armlock, which caused the cabbie to chomp hard on his passenger's hand.

"I couldn't breathe or move my head. ... I never meant to hurt him,'' Chau told the court.

The prosecution argued Chau only struck out at the cabbie after the bite.

However, despite the guilty verdict, Chau's account was described as inconsistent and the magistrate found that Hui had been provoked.