A rough sleeper who stabbed a stranger after being invited into his flat for a drink has been jailed.
Lewis Donachie, 24, had been at an off-licence in Stockton when the victim, 51, and his two friends invited him to join them.
But during their time in the flat, the homeless man had become ‘agitated’ and stabbed the man three times with a steak knife, Teesside Crown Court heard.
In a statement read to the court, the victim described how he had been left unable to trust after the attack.
‘I wake up in pain and I go to sleep in pain. It feels like someone is just sitting on my chest, it is that restrictive,’ he said.
‘I don’t understand why this has happened. There was no reason for him to stab me.
‘I invited him into my home and he has done this to me.’
Donachie had been invited into the victim’s home at around 9pm on the evening of September 29, the court heard.
Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, told the court that the men then noticed his behaviour was becoming ‘more aggressive’ before ‘calming down’.
The court heard that Donachie was then taken out of the flat to calm down and later allowed to return.
But the victim said that he again became ‘agitated’ again, before going into the kitchen and taking a ‘steak knife with a five inch blade’, the court heard.
‘He came back into the living room, pulled the victim forward and delivered three blows with the knife’, Mr Perks said.
‘The knife was plunged into the complainant’s chest.’
The victim was taken to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where he underwent an operation.
He told the court he had to move to a bungalow because of his injuries, which have left him breathless and unable to climb stairs.
Mitigating, Francis Fitzgibbon QC said Donachie was ‘disgusted’ with his actions, adding: ‘The defendant had taken heroin earlier that day, the effects of which were wearing off.
‘He left the address to look for more but couldn’t find his dealer, he was feeling worse for wear.
‘Back at the flat something occurred that made him feel under threat. He can’t pin down as to why he felt like that.
‘The three blows were done in a flash, not a sustained period of time.’
Originally charged with attempted murder, Donachie pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent.
He was jailed for eight years and four months by Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC.
The judge told him: ‘There was no reason at all for you to do what you did. Your victim was 51 when you attacked him.
‘He was to some extent vulnerable by reason he had been drinking all day and was in his own home, a home to which he invited you to stay out of the goodness of his heart, and you thanked him by attacking him.
‘You struck him three times with considerable force. Fortunately, he did not die from his injuries.’