A thug with an ‘obsession for carrying knives and weapons’ has been jailed for three years for a knife attack on two friends while he was high on drink and drugs.
Louis Ward, aged 21, was celebrating his birthday and New Year’s Eve with friends in a Sheffield pub when ‘tom foolery’ almost resulted in tragedy.
A row broke out between some members of the group and Ward pulled a knife out of his back pocket and began making threats.
Pal Karl Sampson tried to calm Ward down and urged him to give the knife up, but instead the thug ‘lashed out’ and stabbed Mr Samson in his groin - severing an artery and vain, and leaving him needing emergency surgery.
Mr Sampson was an amateur boxer who has been unable to train since the attack.
Another friend, Theodore Smith, suffered a more minor knife wound during the same incident.
Sentencing Ward, who was drunk and had snorted cocaine on the night of the attack in the Three Feathers, Darnall, Recorder Jane Rowley said he an ‘obsession’ and ‘fascination’ with weapons.
Sheffield Crown Court heard he used a meat cleaver during a robbery in 2010 and the year before was found with a knife when he was still at school.
Recorder Rowley said Ward’s behaviour was ‘extremely reckless’ and an example of knife crime so many young men end up embroiled with.
“Knife crime is a serious problem, particularly among young men - it has become an obsession with you,” she said to Ward.
She said he had been assessed as posing a ‘high risk of serious harm’.
“You have an obsession with carrying knives and weapons and have previous convictions for carrying them and using them to commit offences,” the Recorder added.
She revealed that Ward fled the scene after attacking his friends and was arrested in London two weeks later after giving police officers the slip.
He provided detectives with false information and refused to answer questions in police interviews, but officers found the knife he used.
But his barrister Paul Smith said Ward wanted to make an ‘unreserved apology’ to Mr Sampson, who was most seriously injured in the attack.
“He recognises that an apology may feel trivial to someone who has been so damaged by his conduct, but nevertheless he wants to make that apology,” he said.
“He expresses that if he could turn back time he would give anything to be able to do that.”
Ward was jailed after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and wounding, and after being found guilty of making threats with a knife.