Reveller left fighting for his life with neck wound after Hartlepool stabbing

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

A KNIFEMAN narrowly missed a main artery in his victim’s neck when he stabbed him during a late-night street fight.

Liam Rowbotham, 20, who was jailed for four years at Teesside Crown Court, left victim Jamie Hunt needing an emergency transfusion because he lost so much blood.

It is the second time Rowbotham has carried out such an attack after he plunged a broken bottle into a man’s neck at a Christmas party in 2011.

He carried out the latest attack in a response to jibes about his mixed race, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The court heard a fist fight broke out between the two men in Victoria Road, Hartlepool, at about 2am on February 28.

But when Mr Hunt got the better of him, Rowbotham suddenly pulled out a knife.

Joanne Kidd, prosecuting, said: “The complainant clearly had the upper hand. At that point the defendant produced a knife from the waistband of his trousers.

“It was three to four inches long and he said ‘ha ha, I’ve got a blade.’

“They ran at each other and the complainant felt a blow to his neck. He had what transpired was a significant stab wound, shortly missing his artery.

“Mr Hunt subsequently required two units of blood as a result of the excessive bleeding that began instantly.”

Rowbotham, of Jesmond Square, Hartlepool, threw the blood-stained blade on to the roof of a nearby building which was recovered the following morning. His DNA was also found on it.

He was jailed for four years yesterday after he earlier admitted wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon at an earlier hearing.

Rowbotham has two previous convictions for similar assaults. In December 2011 he stabbed a man in the neck with a broken bottle at a Christmas party and was later given 18 months youth detention.

And in June 2009, he fractured a man’s arm after stamping on it.

Jim Withyman, mitigating, said his client had suffered years of abuse and bullying because of his mixed race, including in the latest incident.

He said: “What he did he accepts now was completely unacceptable.

“He has to find a way of dealing with it that doesn’t result in him over reacting and taking violent action.

“If he continues to do this he is going to spend the rest of his life in prison and he understands that.”

In sentencing Judge George Moorhouse said: “You only just missed his artery and you could have been facing an even more serious charge if that had happened.

“I accept you were racially abused that night, but an offence of this kind is so serious to justify a custodial sentence.

“I do take into account you used a weapon and you have two serious previous convictions.”