Ex-sailor stabbed friend 11 times ‘in self-defence’

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A FORMER seaman who stabbed his friend 11 times during a fight has been put behind bars.

Ian Seath inflicted wounds to Gareth Roberts’ neck, arm and chest during the violence in the early hours of September 6, last year.

Mr Roberts told police he felt weak as he stood up and realised, for the first time, he had been repeatedly stabbed.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Mr Roberts’ spleen had to be removed as a result of his injuries, and he will be on antibiotics to ward off infections for the rest of his life.

Seath, of Wallington Grove, South Shields, admitted unlawful wounding on the basis his actions were self-defence which had gone too far.

Judge Jeremy Freedman jailed the 58-year-old for two years.

The judge told Seath: “It may have started off as self-defence but to inflict 11 stab wounds goes far, far beyond what could possibly be interpreted as self- defence.”

The court heard the two men had been at Seath’s home, and Mr Roberts had fallen asleep after taking some heroin.

The violence occurred when he woke up and found some of his drugs were missing.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, told the court: “Mr Roberts stated he was fighting back and trying to stop the defendant from hitting him.

“He accepted, in doing so, that he grabbed hold of the defendant’s arms, and at one point took hold of the defendant around the throat with both of his hands.

“The defendant continued to strike him throughout.

“Mr Roberts told police he felt weak as he stood up and realised, for the first time, he had been repeatedly stabbed.”

The court heard Mr Roberts left the flat and went for help.

He was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, for treatment to a stab wound to his neck, six to his left arm and four to his chest.

Seath, who has no history of violence, and has never been to prison before, was arrested and taken to the police station.

Mr Perks told the court; “He accepted he had made stabbing attempts at the complainant until the complainant let go of his neck.”

Christopher Knox, defending, told the court that Seath had found work after he left the merchant navy but was finding it increasingly difficult to get employment in recent years.

Mr Knox said Seath had developed a drink problem while working at sea, and had gone on to abuse drugs.

Mr Knox told the court Mr Roberts is much bigger and younger than Seath and added: “This is excessive self-defence.”

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