Machete attack victim feared he would die after drug addict left him with serious injuries
A man thought he was going to be killed when a schizophrenic suddenly attacked him with a machete.
Drug addict Jason Franklin,29, attacked Adam Thomas with the blade because he refused to hand over money that Frankin wrongly believed he was owed.
Teesside Crown Court heard how Franklin hears voices in his head belonging to an alter ego named Sid and was heavily addicted to drugs at the time of the attack almost two years ago.
But a judge allowed him to go free after hearing how he had been "rescued" by his dad who has helped rid his son of drugs and Franklin is no longer considered to pose a significant risk to the public.
Nigel Soppitt, prosecuting, said Franklin demanded Â£40 from Mr Thomas after they both took cannabis at the victim's flat on January 7, last year.
When Mr Thomas refused, Franklin went up to his own flat and returned moments later shouting "I want money off you."
Mr Soppitt said: "When the complainant refused the defendant pulled a machete from his tracksuit bottoms. It was about 40 centimetres long.
"The complainant then in his words was in immediate fear for his life having had this knife produced and brandished in front of him."
Franklin lashed out towards Mr Thomas with the weapon, badly injuring three fingers on his left hand which he raised to protect himself.
Mr Soppitt added: "He fell to the floor thinking again he was going to be killed. The defendant stood over him holding the machete with two hands as if poised to strike."
Franklin was pushed away by another person and he left after grabbing Â£40.
Mr Thomas suffered deep cuts to three fingers and multiple severed nerves which were successfully repaired.
Franklin's father told the judge how he had taken Franklin out of Hartlepool after paying off Â£600 drug debts.
He now works at his dad's recycling plant in Hull.
Mr Franklin senior said: "In that environment he had no chance whatsoever to come off the drugs.
"I had to pay all the people off in the street before they would let me take his furniture into the van."
When the Recorder of Middlesbrough Judge Simon Bourn-Arton asked Mr Frankin: "Do you think you have got him under control now?", he said: "Very much, sir."
Laurie Scott, mitigating for Franklin, said: "When he first appeared he was in the grip of a really significant addiction to drugs which was exacerbating his schizophrenia.
"This does appear to have been a very unpleasant incident but out of character and caused by a very particular set of circumstances which in my submission no longer exist."
Frankin, of Dent Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and having a blade.
He was given 18 months prison suspended for two years.
Judge Bourne-Arton told him: "This was unprovoked, there was a degree of planning to it.
"It was committed by using a weapon which resulted in serious injury to the victim's hand."
Referring to the efforts of Franklin's father, he added: "You looked dreadful and you behaved in a dreadful state, and he now has rescued you.
"To him, of course, you owe a great deal of gratitude."
Mr Thomas was also awarded Â£5,000 in compensation.