Published: 09:30, 06 September 2017
| Updated: 09:30, 06 September 2017
A thug who stabbed a man in the chest after claiming he owed him £20 has been jailed for four years.
Kieron Benfield was with his girlfriend when he slashed Danny Lester once with a Stanley knife.
The victim was treated in hospital for a gash 15cm long and 1in deep through muscle.
A judge said when passing sentence: “It looked very serious but was found by surgeons to be superficial, and was dealt with by stitching.”
Maidstone Crown Court heard Mr Lester boarded a bus at Chatham and was on his way to Lordswood in the early evening of July 17.
Also on the bus was 28-year-old Benfield. He asked Mr Lester if he had his “20 quid”. He replied that he didn’t.
Prosecutor Robert De Banzie said they both got off the bus and walked in different directions.
Benfield was joined by his girlfriend.
As they headed towards Tesco in Newton Close, Benfield shouted at the victim.
He believed they were trying to get him to go to the store and replied: “Nice try.”
As he walked away he saw the couple were following. Benfield had a knife in his hand. He and his girlfriend were still shouting at Mr Lester.
Mr Lester swung a string bag at Benfield hitting him in the face. The woman slapped Mr Lester.
He continued walking but Benfield then slashed him with the knife, the blade going through his puffa-style jacket. The couple then left via an alleyway.
A motorist stopped and helped the victim, and he was taken to hospital.
Benfield, a courier, of Albury Close, Lordswood, admitted wounding with intent.
In a victim statement, Mr Lester told how he had been affected by the attack.
He had had to take time off from his job at PC World and suffered financially.
Kieran Brand, defending, said Benfield had the Stanley knife for his work, which at the time had been in the construction industry.
“His partner is 14 weeks pregnant,” said Mr Brand.
“He is concerned he will miss the formative years of his child’s life.
“He was more sensitive at the time because she had recently suffered a miscarriage.”
Judge Charles Macdonald QC told Benfield: “The use of a knife is something the courts take very seriously.
"It seems to me there is an element of provocation in the complainant following you.
“There is a lack of premeditation and there is remorse. There is naturally some victim impact."
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