A former seaman who stabbed his friend 11 times during a fight has been put behind bars.
Ian Seath caused knife wounds to Gareth Roberts’ neck, arm and chest during the violence in the early hours of September 6 last year.
Newcastle Crown Court heard 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 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.
When some of his drugs were missing when he woke up the violence exploded.
Proscutor Jolyon Perks told the court the men ended up on Seath’s bed during the struggle.
He added: “Mr Roberts stated he as fighting back and trying to stop the defendant from hitting him.
“He accepted, in doing so, 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 RVI 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 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.”
Words by Karon Kelly at North News.