A KNIFE thug sliced through his best pal’s hand following a nine-hour booze binge.
Adam Gibson had been drinking when he lunged at Dean Burke’s head with a kitchen knife, after he stepped in to stop a row between Gibson and Mr Burke’s girlfriend.
As Mr Burke lifted his hand to defend himself, 21-year-old Gibson plunged the knife through his palm, before the two men, who had known each other for 17 years and were childhood friends, fought on the floor.
Gibson, of Tyne Gardens, Washington, was then thrown out of the house by the victim and his girlfriend, Newcastle Crown Court heard. He pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.
Mr Burke suffered a 5cm cut to the palm of his right hand, which needed five stitches, and a small exit wound on the back of the hand. He also got a cut to the forehead after the scuffle that followed.
Prosecutor Graham O’Sullivan said: “He is right handed, and since the incident, he gets a lot of numbness and tingling in his last two fingers and down the side of his hand.”
In a victim statement read to the court, Mr Burke told of the lasting effect the attack had had on him.
It read: “I would say that I’m very disappointed that my best friend has done this to me.
“I’m absolutely gutted; words can not express how I feel. At work, I hold tools for a long period of time which now causes great pain.
“My fingers lock and I have to open them with my other hand.
“Mentally, I’m struggling. I feel depressed all of the time, I’m not sleeping. I keep having flashbacks.”
Adam Gibson had spent the evening of April 21 last year drinking with Mr Burke and their girlfriends at the victim’s home in Hebburn.
The two men had been having a heart-to-heart before Mr Burke went upstairs to use the toilet at 3am.
After hearing raised voices, he went down to the kitchen where he saw Gibson pointing a kitchen knife at his girlfriend after a disagreement, and intervened.
Shan Routledge, defending, said: “It’s sad that two young men who clearly went through school together had this drunken violent incident.
“He dearly regrets injuring his best friend in the way that he did.
“They had been drinking for almost nine hours by three in the morning.”
After hearing of the progress that Gibson had made since the incident in dealing with his alcohol problems and his efforts in seeking employment, Judge Sloan deferred sentencing for six months.
He said: “Mr Burke couldn’t believe that you, his best friend at the time, had behaved in this way.”
Warning Gibson to refrain from re-offending or drinking in the six months before his sentencing, he added: “If you comply, there will not be any immediate sentence of imprisonment.
“If you fail to comply, the sentence will be of a substantial term of imprisonment.”