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Man jailed after drugs row
A MAN who stabbed another man three times in a row over a drugs deal has been jailed for two years and four months.
Lee Phillips, 35, left his victim "bleeding profusely", Teesside Crown Court was told, and after stabbing him three times between the abdomen and chest "luckily" managed to miss all his major organs.
The injured man lost a large amount of blood in the attack on March 22 this year and required major hospital surgery after what was described as a life threatening injury.
Phillips, of Middleton Court, Eaglescliffe, near Stockton, claimed he had been short-changed when buying heroin from the victim and had acted on the spur of the moment, grabbing a nearby knife to carry out the attack.
He admitted an offence of wounding and a separate charge of criminal damage.
His barrister Rod Hunt said: "This defendant is a vulnerable person and does not react as a right thinking adult would do."
Mr Hunt claimed the interests of justice would be best served by giving him what he called a structured release into the community, rather than returning him to custody and "releasing him straight out of the prison door".
However, Judge Peter Bowers said he was unimpressed by this argument and refused to suspend any sentence on him.
Judge Bowers said he accepted Phillips was vulnerable and needed psychiatric support, but said he had previously breached a previous suspended sentence on a number of occasions and had "many chances" over the years.
He jailed Phillips for two years and four months, but said 212 days he had already spent in custody would be deducted.