Published: 16:00, 04 June 2014
A thug who caused serious injuries when he stabbed another man in the street with a flick knife has been jailed for 17 years and nine months.
The sentence was passed on Latvian Glebs Konovalovs after a jury convicted him today of attempted murder.
Maidstone Crown Court heard how the 22-year-old clashed with Lauris Apsits outside his flat in Prospect Row, Chatham, in the early hours of December 1 last year.
It happened after the victim’s partner Jelena Tahomirova had ended up at Konovalovs’ bedsit after a night out with a friend.
She met Konovalovs at Bliss nightclub in Gillingham and was flirting and kissing between them, the jury was told.
When alone with Konovalovs at his flat, Miss Tahomirova partly undressed but then decided to leave. She phoned Mr Apsits and asked him to pick her up.
As she went down the stairs Konovalovs suddenly punched her in the face.
Mr Apsits, also Latvian, arrived with Miss Tahomirova’s son and during a scuffle Konovalovs pulled out the knife.
Miss Tahomirova turned around and saw Mr Apsits sitting on steps looking pale. He told her: “Call an ambulance. I’ve been stabbed.”
Mr Apsits went into a deep coma with stab wounds to his heart and a lung. He was flown to a London hospital for emergency surgery and recovered after being detained for eight days.
Konovalovs denied attempted murder claiming self-defence. He admitted assaulting Miss Tahomirova causing actual bodily harm.
He claimed he had been given the flick knife because he had only been in his flat two weeks and did not have any cutlery.
Prosecutor Paul Valder said Konovalovs, who came to the UK four years ago, was in February 2012 given a conditional discharge for possessing an offensive weapon - a butterfly knife.
Martin Hooper, defending, submitted Konovalovs had not left his flat on the morning of the stabbing with intent to kill.
“He went out anticipating some problem and armed himself for his protection,” he said.
Mr Hooper said Konovalovs came to the UK to seek a better life. He had good attributes and had always worked hard, he added.
Judge Charles Macdonald QC told Konovalovs: “You show no remorse having told every possible lie to try to escape conviction.”
He did he did not find Konovalovs was a dangerous offender as defined in law.
Konovalovs and Miss Tahomirova both expected sexual intercourse would happen, but she changed her mind, the judge continued.
“She said some hurtful things to you that must have provoked you. Nevertheless, she was a woman alone in your premises, dependent on you to be let out the front door.
"She must have felt - as indeed she was - very vulnerable.
“I am sure you deliberately armed yourself with a flick knife and intended to do Mr Apsits really serious harm.
"Otherwise, it would have been madness to leave the house at all, let alone armed with a weapon of this nature.
“On the evidence of the boy, I am sure you started this fight, and during it you formed the intention to kill Mr Apsits, which you attempted to do by a very deliberate plunging stab movement into his left upper chest through his jacket.”
Mr Apsits suffered two major wounds piercing his heart and lung and a superficial cut.
“You show no remorse having told every possible lie to try to escape conviction” - Judge Charles MacDonald QC
“He collapsed on the spot and was saved by the commendable actions of paramedic Mark Wright, backed up by an air ambulance consultant,” said Judge Macdonald.
“He was airlifted to a London hospital and expertly treated. You ran from the scene, hiding the knife in a box of washing powder in your bedsit.”
Konovalovs was sentenced to 17 years for attempted murder and nine months consecutive for assaulting Miss Tahomirova.
The judge said Konovalovs would serve half the term in custody and would then be in immigration detention while deportation was considered.