Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Knife Attacker Jailed; Victim Left Scarred in Stabbing by 'Dangerous' Troubled Teen

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Knife Attacker Jailed; Victim Left Scarred in Stabbing by 'Dangerous' Troubled Teen

Article excerpt

Byline: GARETH LIGHTFOOT gareth.lightfoot@trinitymirror.com @GazetteCourt

A TROUBLED teenager who stabbed and scarred a young man in an underpass in "an argument over nothing" has been locked up for six years.

Charles Keats, 18, was deemed to be a dangerous offender after, armed with a folding knife and a spiked knuckle duster, he argued with a 20-year-old man then attacked him.

A court heard his mother had battled for years to get him the right help for his still-undiagnosed mental health difficulties The incident happened when two groups of friends met by chance in an underpass near Barwick Way, Ingleby Barwick on August 26 last year.

As they stood face to face, Keats with one hand in his pocket, one by his side, the concerned older man tried to punch him but missed.

Keats lunged forward, punched the other man in the face, they grabbed each other then the victim felt a "huge pain" to his shoulder.

Someone shouted "he's stabbed you", prosecutor Shaun Dryden told Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

The victim fell to the ground bleeding and realised he had been stabbed as he saw Keats waving the folding knife and spiked knuckle duster shouting: "Do you want it?" He suffered four stab wounds to his abdomen and chest, a cut from his mouth to his ear which left a visible scar, and a dislocated shoulder. He later said he was physically and mentally scarred, had regular flashbacks, took anti-depressants and felt nervous going out.

Keats, 17 at the time, initially claimed: "I didn't mean to injure him. I was just acting in self defence."

He got rid of the weapons, which were never found.

He absconded from court when he was facing trial in March, but later admitted wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm, having an offensive weapon and having a bladed article.

Rachel Dyson, defending, said: "Mr Keats is not a lost cause. …

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