Man jailed for stabbing best friend during a drunken row
A 20-YEAR-OLD who stabbed his "best friend" in a drunken argument – nearly killing him – has been jailed for six years.
James Waterall was convicted by a jury of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Terry Bentley after celebrating the victim's birthday.
"He nearly died as a result of the injuries," prosecutor Julia King told Derby Crown Court.
Waterall, of Seymour Close, Ilkeston, plunged a kitchen knife into Mr Bentley's left shoulder about three times – the deepest stab puncturing his lung.
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He was rushed to hospital where he was treated for a collapsed lung and had a massive blood transfusion.
The consultant surgeon said: "He came extremely close to bleeding to death."
Jailing Waterall yesterday, Judge Ebrahim Mooncey said: "It's a sad case – two young men who have known each other for such a long time, got on so well, should end their friendship like this."
The incident happened on June 10 last year, at a house in Mill Lane, which Waterall and Mr Bentley had gone back to after drinking at The Charter pub in Ilkeston.
There was evidence that Mr Bentley had kicked Waterall in the groin by mistake and had apologised but an argument had ensued, which involved the two scuffling.
They ended up in the kitchen, where Waterall stabbed Bentley.
During the trial, the defendant admitted stabbing Mr Bentley but claimed it had been in self-defence. Judge Mooncey said during the trial, Waterall had "constructed an alternative reality" to excuse himself.
He said: "It seems you live under the same falsehood – you show no remorse."
Chudi Grant, in mitigation, said Waterall still did not accept the allegation.
The court heard that Mr Bentley, who said they had been "like brothers", continued to suffer from chest pain and was uncertain whether he would get into the Army as a result of the stabbing.
Detective Constable Steve Fuller said: "The sentence reflects the serious nature of this assault. It highlights the life-changing consequences of using a knife to inflict injury and the victim in this case was very lucky to have survived."