Man jailed for stabbing ex-friend over dispute

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A KNIFEMAN who stabbed a rival after bursting into his family home has been jailed for eight years.

Carl Whitfield, 42, of Sunderland, stormed into Carl Atkinson’s living room armed with a 12-inch weapon and plunged it deep into his rib cage.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the blade ended up “extremely close” to Mr Atkinson’s lung and went right through his body.

Judge Brian Forster told Whitfield: “You went to the home of the victim. At the time, you were armed with a knife and your purpose was to inflict injury. Having entered the house, you did just that. This was a ferocious and terrifying assault.

“It is a matter of good fortune you are not answering for an offence of murder or manslaughter.

“The courts have a clear duty to ensure that people who have a grievance do not arm themselves with weapons and go inflicting injuries of this type.”

Prosecutor Michael Hodson told the court the men had been former friends but had got into an angry dispute.

It was in December 2011 that the violence erupted as Mr Atkinson sat at home with his mother and teenage sister.

Mr Hodson said: “The door burst open, and the defendant was standing in the living room holding a kitchen knife about 12 inches long.” The court heard Mr Atkinson managed to avoid the initial blows as he struggled to protect himself. But Mr Hodson added: “The knife was raised again, above the defendant’s head, and in a stabbing motion, with great force, Mr Atkinson describes he was struck by the blade in his left rib cage.

“He could see the knife was stuck in the side of his body, and the defendant still had hold of the handle, which he pulled backwards.

“This brought the knife out of his body.”

The court heard Whitfield lunged at his victim again, and the pair ended up wrestling on the floor before the violence came to a stop.

Whitfield, admitted he “completely lost self-control”.

He pleaded guilty to wounding with intent.