Plymouth heroin addict in a rage stabbed friend six times
A HEROIN addict stabbed a friend six times in the back and neck in a rage fuelled by drink and drugs, a court heard.
Gary Courtney was yesterday jailed for three years for the unprovoked attack with a kitchen knife on his pal, as the pair walked down the street.
Judge Graham Cottle told the 30-year-old: "That man could have died in the street."
The victim was in fact able to disarm his friend, return home and call the police and ambulance himself, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
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Courtney, of Aylesbury Crescent, in Whitleigh, admitted maliciously wounding the man on June 12. He denied an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
That plea was accepted by the prosecution.
Judge Cottle told Courtney: "You were seriously under the influence of drink and drugs at the time. You stabbed him no less than six times, five in the back.
"It may have been that the wounds were not as serious as they could have been, but it is pure chance that the knife did not penetrate a vital organ."
Alistair Verheijen, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Courtney visited his pal at his flat on the afternoon of June 12.
He added Courtney was in a "foul mood", saying "I am going to kill him" several times.
Mr Verheijen said he was under the influence of alcohol when he went to the kitchen and picked up some knives – but his friend managed to disarm him.
The court heard things calmed down and the men left the house together, with Courtney then saying he was going home to pick something up.
Mr Verheijen said Courtney went to a neighbour's house and borrowed a knife which he said he needed to cut some steak.
He added Courtney met the friend again, and the pair set off to walk to a garage.
Mr Verheijen said Courtney suddenly started stabbing the man in the back and the neck in Taunton Avenue, Whitleigh.
The court heard he was left with a five-centimetre cut to the neck and five three-centimetre cuts to the back.
Mr Verheijen said the victim disarmed Courtney and went home. He later discharged himself from hospital after the wounds were sutured.
Ali Rafati, for Courtney, said: "They were good friends. As he was walking around with his friend with this knife, he is angry at someone else.
"He starts arguing with his friend over nothing and he starts hitting [the man] while holding this knife."
Mr Rafati said Courtney had a "longstanding heroin addiction" but on the day in question had taken alcohol and Valium.
He added: "It is the worst combination in provoking a reaction."
Mr Rafati said he was full of remorse for the attack and grateful that the wounds were not more serious.