A man who repeatedly stabbed a father in the street while high on cocaine amid a simmering row over an unpaid £40 debt has been locked up for nine years.
Saul Shepherd, 20, lent Jonathan Nelson cash several weeks before an initial late night incident at the Alston home of the latter on August 27.
After repeated door knocking, Shepherd climbed through a window armed with a machete and made threats to “take his head off”.
He fled, was later arrested and bailed. But more serious violence erupted on the night of September 11 outside Alston’s Victoria Inn.
After leaving the pub, Mr Nelson was stabbed. His next recollection was waking up in intensive care eight days later.
Shepherd was seen lunging aggressively at Mr Nelson, striking him in the torso and slashing his upper arm.
Mr Nelson spent five weeks in hospital receiving treatment for serious injuries to his badly damaged bowel. He underwent three operations.
In an impact statement, Mr Nelson said the attack left him in excruciating pain, traumatised and suffering from flashbacks.
He said: “I don’t think I will ever get over the mental and emotional effect this has had on me and the fact I was very close to death, and the impact this has had on my children will be with me forever.”
Ground worker Shepherd, of Lambsgate Farm, Alston, ran out of town after the stabbing, hid and and disposed of the knife and clothing in a river.
“Yeah I stabbed him twice. I was on coke,” he told police.
He admitted aggravated burglary, wounding with intent and illegally having two bladed articles.
Jailing Shepherd, Judge Simon Medland QC told Shepherd: “To use his (Mr Nelson’s) phrase: ‘I could so easily have died’.
“All of that was done by you because you were angry and frothing with violence in your mind, brought about by your consumption of drugs.
“The message must be understood, if it is not already, that class A drugs destroy people’s lives and now they have destroyed yours because you are in prison and you are going to stay there for a long time.”
Detective Constable Lisa Atkinson, of North Cumbria Crime and Safeguarding Team, said:
“It was befitting that Mr Shepherd received a significant custodial sentence considering the offences he has committed. Both the incidents were targeted and callous.
“The actions pf Shepherd were completely unacceptable and absolutely not the way of resolving any disputes.
“There is no place for violence and knife-related violence in Cumbria. These are offences that Cumbria police will continue to relentlessly investigate and we will pursue all those who carry out these crimes.
“Thankfully, the victim is in the process of making a physical recovery but has had to receive significant medical treatment. Using a knife in a violent confrontation could easily result in the loss of someone’s life.
“There is no situation where the carrying a knife is a sensible choice as shown in this case.”