Knife-wielding South Yorkshire teen slashed 'friend' on the hand during drug debt dispute in Barnsley

A knife-wielding teenager who slashed his friend’s hand with a carving knife during a drug debt dispute has narrowly been spared from time behind bars.

By Jon Cooper
Friday, 31st December 2021, 9:08 am

Kiel Naughton, aged 18, of Wood Park View, in Athersley North, Barnsley, accused his friend of owing him money before taking a carving knife and slashing his left hand, according to a Sheffield Crown Court hearing.

Judge Michael Slater told Naughton during the December 30 hearing: “For reasons best known to yourself – while fuelled by drink and, or drugs – you took a carving knife to your former friend.

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Sheffield Crown Court, pictured, has heard how a teenager who slashed a friend's hand with a carving knife has narrowly been spared from time behind bars. Also pictured is an example of a knife.

"You were lucky that you did not cause him more serious injury than you did and it seems there is a residual impairment of his hand as a result of you striking the knife against his knuckles.”

Neil Coxon said the complainant and a friend who had been taking illicit substances joined Naughton and others at another address after Naughton had messaged the complainant via Snapchat.

They consumed alcohol before the defendant became angry and shouted at the complainant and his friend, according to Mr Coxon, that he was owed £100 for cocaine, but the complainant claimed he did not owe Naughton money.

Naughton went to a kitchen drawer, pulled out a knife with a 25cm blade and waved it around, according to Mr Coxon, and as the complainant put his left arm out to protect himself the knife struck his left hand causing a deep laceration to the knuckle area.

Mr Coxon said: “The complainant felt pain straight away. His hand started to bleed and there was blood issuing onto his clothing including his trousers.

"Because of the actions of the defendant, the complainant was finding it difficult to move his left index finger and he seemed to have lost feeling and sensation and he became aware that the index finger was numb.”

The complainant went to Barnsley District General Hospital and underwent surgery, according to Mr Coxon, and he needed physiotherapy and in July 2021 he stated that his hand was not as strong as it should be.

Naughton pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding after the incident on February 28, 2021. The court heard he committed this offence while on bail for causing criminal damage, for which he later received a conditional discharge.

Chris Aspinall, defending, said Naughton has “apologised unreservedly” to the complainant and there is no ill feeling between them.

He added: “When he is sober and not taking drugs he is a perfectly pleasant, helpful and useful member of society.”

Mr Aspinall said Naughton has not re-offended and he has stopped using drugs and he only goes out drinking on a fortnightly basis.

Naughton also has some personal difficulties concerning ADHD and the need for counselling after a friend died, according to Mr Aspinall.

Judge Michael Slater stressed that anyone who uses a knife in such way can expect a custodial sentence but given the progress Naughton has made he felt he could narrowly suspend the sentence.

He sentenced Naughton to 10 months of custody in a Young Offender Institution suspended for two years but warned if he committed any offences during this period he runs the risk of this custodial sentence being activated.

Judge Slater also imposed a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement of up to 45 days.