Victim on crutches stabbed after gang attack at South Shields Metro station
A passenger on crutches was stabbed after attackers "lay in wait" for him at a Metro station.
The victim had stopped for a cigarette to give rivals the chance to leave the area when they all got off the same train at Tyne Dock Station on April 26.
But Newcastle Crown Court heard Bryan Blacklock, 18, Daniel Langley, 23, and a 17-year-old attacker pounced when he started to walk away.
The victim was punched and then kicked repeatedly while on the ground during an initial phase of violence.
But the court heard when two of the attackers walked away that Blacklock repeatedly hit the victim with his own crutch and then stabbed him in the upper back.
The victim suffered a laceration to his lung and had bruising and soreness.
Blacklock, of no fixed address, admitted wounding with intent, assault and having a bladed article and has been jailed for five years and three months.
Langley, of Laygate, South Shields, who was not involved in the stabbing, admitted assault and has been jailed for 15 months.
The teenager, who also did not use the knife, has already been dealt with by the youth court.
Judge Robert Spragg said: "He was particularly vulnerable, he was on crutches at the time.
"It was a sustained attack.
"You lay in wait and there was an element of planning."
The court heard the victim had owed a debt to a friend of the attackers, who he noticed were on his train during his journey.
Judge Spragg told the men: "He tried to ignore you.
"As the Metro got to Tyne Dock you all got off.
"He got off and had a cigarette, giving you all, he hoped, time to leave the area.
"You didn't leave, you waited for him outside."
The court heard as the victim left the station area he was confronted about the money he owed and tried to explain he was "sorting things out".
An attacker then spat in his face and the sickening violence started, with him being punched and then repeatedly kicked.
The court heard two of the attackers walked away but he judge added: "You, Blacklock, took the crutch of him and struck him with it, at least eight times.
"He had to throw it over a fence to stop you using it.
"Against the fence, more blows were struck. You picked up a knife at that point and stabbed him, once, to the upper left back."
The court heard the victim had been in "shock" and did not go to hospital straight away.
Later that day, a friend of his called an ambulance when he saw the puncture wound and his "whole body covered in blood".
His wound was closed with stitches at hospital.
Vic Laffey, defending Blacklock, said the teen has no similar convictions and has been in trouble only once before.
Mr Laffey said: "He got involved in something which he accepts was not his argument."
The court heard Blacklock had been informed that day that he was due to be evicted from his home, for reasons he claimed were "not of his making" and had been drinking alcohol.
Mr Laffey added: "He expresses great remorse.
"He acted completely out of character and is highly unlikely to act in this manner again."
Graeme Cook, defending Langley, said the attackers lay in wait for only "seconds" and that he too accepts what he did was wrong.
The court heard both men have used their time in custody constructively and have both struggled to explain why they got involved in the violence that day.