Knifeman is spared jail over stabbing

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A KNIFEMAN has been spared jail over a stabbing attack in South Tyneside.

Paul Raper stabbed David Parkin twice during a confrontation outside their homes in Westoe Road, South Shields, on May 25.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim needed stitches to a wound on the right side of his chest and had a smaller shoulder injury.

The attack was brought to an end when another resident disarmed Raper after he had inflicted the injuries.

Prosecutor Peter Schofield told the court: “The knife the Crown allege was used was a steak knife with a serrated edge, six inches in length.

“The knife itself was behind the defendant’s back, initially. It seems he approached Mr Parkin and thrust forward with the knife causing, the Crown say, a chest injury.”

The court heard the attack happened when Mr Parkin was outside the bedsits, drinking with others. A scuffle broke out after the knife was used, and one of the men managed to disarm Raper.

Mr Schofield said: “He put his foot on the defendant’s hand to free him from the knife.”

The court heard Mr Parkin has left his home as a result of the attack and has “lost confidence”.

Mr Schofield added: “There is no suggestion he has not made a full physical recovery.”

Raper, 42, admitted unlawful wounding.

Mr Justice Ramsey sentenced Raper to 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and alcohol treatment programme.

The judge said: “In this case, the harm you caused to the victim was fortunately not as serious as it might have been, but it was still a stab wound to the chest.

“The offence is clearly aggravated in this case by the use of a knife as a weapon.”

The judge said the suspended sentence would address Raper’s drink problem and added: “It is quite clear your life has been wrecked by the abuse of alcohol.

“The only hope at this stage of you not further offending is to treat your alcohol addiction.”