Delay in stabbing sentencing

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A MAN who stabbed his friend through the thigh with a knife will have to wait to find out his fate.

Thomas Hobkirk admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Craig Finn at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court, but was sent to Durham Crown Court to be sentenced for the attack.

He was due to be told what punishment he will serve yesterday, but Judge Christopher Prince was told there is a discrepancy between what Hobkirk has told police and what Mr Finn has said in his statement. Hobkirk, 20, of The Avenue, Deneside, Seaham, said he grabbed the blade, which went out through the other side of Mr Finn’s leg, and attacked after Mr Finn swung a punch at him and has said his actions were the result of “over-zealous self defence”.

However, the prosecution has said it was an unprovoked attack.

A trial of issue, where a judge will hear from witnesses to agree the circumstances, will be held before Hobkirk is sentenced.

The court was told the disturbance happened at a house party on February 2.

Alex Burns, mitigating for Hobkirk said it involved alcohol.

He added that Mr Finn was “so intoxicated”, he went to sleep and woke up in the morning to find blood everywhere and wondering what had gone on.

Judge Prince adjourned the case until the week beginning March 25, and released Hobkirk on bail until his next court hearing.