Man jailed for stabbing victim in face in row over cigarette

The row was over a cigarette
The row was over a cigarette

A Belfast man who stabbed another man in the face following a row over a cigarette was handed a three-year sentence on Tuesday.

Gareth Bradley left his victim with a “large gaping laceration” above his right eye as well as defensive wounds to his hand after a row between two groups at a petrol station on the Andersonstown Road.

The 30-year old, from St James Parade, will serve half his sentence in prison, followed by the same period on licence, for an offence branded “very serious” by Judge Patricia Smyth.

Belfast Crown Court heard that since last June, two people present during the incident have died. The court was also told that despite 17 attempts made by police, the injured party refused to co-operate with the investigation.

The stabbing took place on June 1 last year. The incident started at the garage when the injured man was asked, but refused, to hand over a cigarette. As the men then walked from the garage and onto the Andersonstown Road, Bradley produced a large knife which he used to slash the injured party.

The prosecutor said the man was left with a large cut above his eye and a smaller wound to his nose. He also sustained a wound to his right hand.

Following his arrest, Bradley gave a ‘no comment’ interview but has since admitted causing the injured party grievous bodily harm, and possessing a knife. Bradley, who had 137 previous convictions, was under a suspended sentence.

Jailing Bradley, Judge Smyth said that while she accepted the incident occurred at a time when Bradley was mourning the loss of his mother and living a “chaotic lifestyle,” he had a “significant and substantial” criminal record.