Two thugs who stole £20 from a man at a cashpoint beat their victim when he demanded his money back.
The Iranian victim of Keith Casey and Ian Kime made determined efforts to retrieve the money he had just withdrawn from outside Sainsbury's in Murray Street in Hartlepool.
Both men were jailed by a judge at Teesside Crown Court.
"The victim in this case had just withdrawn £20 from the cashpoint," said Nigel Soppitt, prosecuting.
"He was confronted by Kime who grabbed the £20.
"The victim said later he believed he had been followed for a short distance.
"He demanded the money back, Kime refused, but as the demands continued he produced a large kitchen knife and made a stabbing motion towards the victim's stomach.
"Remarkably, the victim was not deterred, and a scuffle ensued as he continued his efforts to get his money back."
A letter fell from Kime's pocket, the court heard.
"This appeared to annoy Kime even more," said Mr Soppitt. "Possibly because the letter would identify him.
"Kime and Casey punched and kicked the victim, knocking him to the ground.
"They fled, leaving the victim lying in the road.
"A passer-by gave the victim the letter dropped by Kime."
The court heard the victim, who suffered a broken nose, traced the two men to a house in nearby Derwent Street.
"They were arrested there the following day," said Mr Soppitt.
"Both made no comment when first interviewed.
"Kime claimed later the altercation was over a drug deal."
Kime, 34, of Masefield Road, Hartlepool, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, theft, and possessing an offensive weapon, all on March 24.
Casey, 24, of Derwent Street, Hartlepool, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and theft on the same date.
Kime has 147 previous convictions, and Casey has 81 previous convictions.
Rod Hunt, for Kime, said: "He has a chaotic lifestyle mostly due to a serious drink problem.
"In his more lucid moments he understands he cannot go on like he is, but the thought of his next drink is usually uppermost in his mind."
Stephen Constantine, for Casey, said; "He is still a relatively young man.
"He did not start this incident, but accepts he got involved in it.
"Mr Casey's drug use is being controlled with methadone.
"He would welcome further assistance with that."
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton jailed Kime for three years and Casey for 20 months.
The judge told the pair: "This was a nasty two onto one attack which included use of weapons.
"A shod foot in one case and a knife in the other, although I accept the knife was only used to threaten.
"Both of you have appalling records."