Mitigating, Ruth Armstrong said her client, who used to live in Victoria Street in the centre, had many glowing references and the offence was completely out of character.And what did he do?
She said he was described by others as "decent", "respected", "good- natured" and "friendly".
Prosecuting, Rachel Garstang said at about 5.30am the 16-year-old was fighting with another teenager he knew from school, when the 17-year-old got involved.
She said the 16-year-old pushed the 17-year-old away, before the latter pulled out a lock-knife and stabbed him in the side.
The victim initially thought he had been punched, but he started "bleeding profusely".
The court heard he was in surgery for seven hours as his spleen had to be removed, leaving him more susceptible to infection and having to take antibiotics for the rest of his life. The wound also damaged one of his kidneys and even after nine days in hospital he was still in pain, Ms Garstang added.*sigh*
The court heard he had a previous conviction for assault, but nothing knife-related.Another justice system triumph!