Man jailed over County Durham knife attack

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A DRINK-FUELLED attacker has been jailed for stabbing a man who he mistakenly believed was harassing a girl.

Steven Hardy said he was a “paranoid schizo” who could not control his actions when he feels “insecure”, a court heard.

Hardy could be released within days after being sentenced to 12 months in prison, with six months to be served in custody and 182 days on remand to be taken into account, at Durham Crown Court.

The court heard Hardy plunged a six-inch blade into Robert Wilkinson’s abdomen after he wrongly thought his victim was talking inappropriately to a girl.

Hardy, 24, was said to have been drinking alcohol and sniffing gas from a canister while with a group of friends in Shotton Colliery on April 19.

Prosecutor John Gillette said Hardy was kicked in the head by a third party, then an argument followed between Hardy and Mr Wilkinson.

Mr Gillette said Hardy pulled out a knife, which was not initially used, but after a “scuffle”, Hardy left the scene and Mr Wilkinson realised he had been stabbed.

Hospital doctors said the two-inch wide, two-inch deep wound was superficial.

In police interview, Hardy said: “What with me being paranoid schizo, I started panicking. When I feel insecure I just can’t control what I’m doing. I just lashed out and ended up stabbing him.”

Hardy, of West Street, Shotton Colliery, admitted wounding with intent and possessing a bladed article.

Robert Spragg, mitigating, said the nature of the offence was in the lower end of its category of seriousness. There had been a single blow and Hardy “was certainly someone suffering from anxiety at the time”.