'Lucky not to be facing murder charge': Harehills stabber left man with punctured lung in knife attack

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A man who stabbed a rival in the back with a 12-inch knife during a street fight in Leeds has been given an extended prison sentence.

Lee Smith was told he was lucky not to be facing a murder charge after a court heard how his victim suffered a punctured lung during the attack and had to undergo a blood transfusion.

Lee Smith was handed a nine-year extended prison sentence for stabbing man in an the back in a street attack in Harehills.

Lee Smith was handed a nine-year extended prison sentence for stabbing man in an the back in a street attack in Harehills.

Smith, 40, carried out the knife attack in a street in Harehills on May 28 last year.

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said Smith went to the victim's home over a report made to the police of an assault on the defendant's elderly mother.

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Smith argued with the victim before leaving the property but was followed.

The two men fought in the street outside and Smith was punched on the nose.

The victim walked away but Smith run up behind him and stabbed him once with the knife.

Witnesses described how Smith lunged at him with the weapon.

The prosecutor said: "(The victim) did not realise at that point that he had been stabbed with a knife.

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"It felt like a punch.

"It is only when he turned around that he noticed a knife in the defendant's possession."

He was taken to hospital for treatment after losing a lot of blood at the scene from with a deep puncture wound to his back.

The court heard Smith walked off after the knife attack and later burnt his clothing.

He was arrested the next day. When asked where the knife was, he replied: "It's long gone."

Smith, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

The court heard he has previous convictions for violence.

Richard Reed, mitigating, said Smith pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage.

He said: "It is an act he bitterly regrets and he knows of the extreme distress sustained by the victim.

"He counts himself fortunate that the injuries were not far more serious."

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Mr Reed said Smith was drunk at the time of the attack.

Judge Simon Phillips, QC, gave Smith an extended prison after telling the defendant he considered him to pose a serious danger to the public.

He must serve a custodial period of six years followed by a further three years on licence.

The judge said: "It is fortunate that you did not cause more substantial injuries.

"You could have been facing murder in relation to that matter.

"You then walked away calmly as if nothing had happened."