A motorist who attacked another driver with a Stanley knife in a road-rage incident has been jailed.
Timothy Affleck, 35, was driving to work erratically on the morning of September 16 last year when he cut past the victim, clipping his car.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how the man pursued Affleck and jammed his car in front of his near the Lambton Worm pub on North Road in Chester-le-Street.
The pair got out of their cars and began arguing - which then resulted in a fight where the two were grappling on the floor.
Stuart Graham, prosecuting, said: “The victim believed that his car had been clipped by the defendant and so wanted to speak with him.
“He could see the defendant was driving very dangerously and cutting up cars in front of him, causing him to brake hard.
“He decided to follow the defendant and they both confronted each other.
“Before the defendant got out of the car he armed himself with a knife. (The victim) saw the knife in his hand as Mr Affleck lunged towards him.”
During the scuffle the victim suffered a deep 2.5cm laceration to his left hand which damaged the muscle tissue and needed stitches.
Witnesses described hearing the man shout that Affleck had a knife on him.
Affleck - who admitted smoking cannabis the night before - threw the knife away, but it was recovered near a car by police. He claimed he had the knife on him for work.
In a statement the victim said he had never been confronted by someone with a knife before, and was left terrified by the attack.
Lee Fish, defending, said: “Mr Affleck admits dangerous driving and says he is ashamed of himself for what happened.
“There is very much a different side to this story, as the victim is, by his own admission, a ‘very big lad’, and Mr Affleck felt he needed to defend himself.
“He has not been in trouble for over 17 years, and he is a man who is capable of working hard which he has demonstrated over a considerable amount of time.
“He was wrong to jam him in, as this was a dangerous act, as well as confronting him.”
Affleck, of Bloom Avenue, Stanley, County Durham, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, carrying an offensive weapon and wounding at a previous hearing.
Judge Robin Mairs told Affleck: “You drove at speed, overtaking cars on a road that was very dangerous - it was foggy and it was raining.
“You cut up the victim and nearly hit a few cars, he followed you and jammed you in, which is something very dangerous as well.
“Before getting out of your car you armed yourself with a Stanley knife. Those who use knives have to be dealt with be immediate custodial sentences.”
Judge Mairs sentenced Affleck to 23 months in prison.