Man stabbed friend with steak knife at house party

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A MAN who stabbed his friend through the thigh during an argument at a house party has been locked up for a year.

Thomas Hobkirk attacked Craig Finn with a six-inch serrated steak knife, Durham Crown Court heard.

“The blade passed through Mr Finn’s thigh and emerged the other side,” said Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting. “The incident happened during a party at Hobkirk’s sister’s house in Malvern Crescent, Seaham.

“Mr Finn was shouting and arguing with others in the kitchen.

“He was confronted by Hobkirk who thought he was not showing enough respect for his sister and her house.

“There is little medical evidence, but it appears Mr Finn left the house and slept somewhere else that night before going to hospital the next day.

“Police attempted to take statements from other guests at the party, but they were reluctant to speak.”

Hobkirk, 20, of The Avenue, Seaham, admitted unlawful wounding on January 29.

He has no previous convictions.

Alex Burns, defending, said in mitigation: “Both of those involved had been drinking, and Mr Hobkirk was upset by the recent death of a relative and the serious illness of his mother.

“He knows what he did was wrong, but would say there was an element of provocation.

“Mr Hobkirk is an otherwise decent young man who works as a packaging operator earning £1,050 a month, out of which he pays his mother board and lodgings.

“He has been able to provide two written references to the court.

“Looking at the sentencing guidelines, it may be this case falls into a length of sentence which could be suspended.”

Judge Christopher Prince sentenced Hobkirk to 12 months in a young offenders’ institution.

The judge told him: “Whatever happened in that kitchen, your reaction to it was thoroughly out of proportion.

“It is only by luck that the femoral artery in your victim’s leg was not severed and much more severe injury caused.

“I am urged by your counsel to suspend the sentence, but the message must go out that serious consequences will follow for anyone who picks up a knife and uses it as you did.”