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By Court Reporter 01/06 Updated: 05/06 10:26
A MAN who stabbed a drinking partner in the chest in the belief he was flirting with his girlfriend was lucky not to have faced a murder charge.
Michael Emery had gone back to his mother's house to get the seven inch knife he used to stab David Wood, who had to spend three days in hospital having blood drained from his lung.
The 31-year-old, of Holbrook Road, Long Lawford, was jailed for four years at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Prosecutor Nigel Wilkins told the court that on February 14, Mr Wood and his brother Matthew went out into Rugby town centre.
In a pub they saw Emery arguing with his girlfriend Christina and alleging she had been with other people, so Mr Wood went over and spoke to him, managing to calm him down.
A few hours later they all decided to get a taxi back to Emery’s home, stopping on the way to buy some vodka and beer, and sat in the lounge drinking and smoking cannabis.
Later, another argument broke out between Christina and Emery, who picked up some of his property and said he was going to leave.
He went outside, but Mr Wood - who Emery believed had been flirting with Christina - followed him to try to speak to him, but he walked off and went to his mother’s home.
Emery then phoned Christina and returned to his house about half an hour later, only to go to his bedroom and then go outside again.
Once more he was followed out by Mr Wood who told him he was 'not interested' in his girlfriend.
Mr Wood turned to go back inside, but Emery called him by his nickname of Woody, causing him to turn around.
He saw Emery had raised his arm, holding something he had taken from his jacket, but not realising it was a knife.
Prosecutor Mr Wilkins said: "The defendant thrust it down into the complainant’s chest. He immediately felt a warm sensation and stepped back and saw the defendant had again raised his arm, and saw the knife.
"As Emery came towards him he managed to run from the scene to the home of people he knew nearby, but there was no-one there, so he returned for his brother to get help.
"He realised he had a severe wound to his chest which was pumping out blood, and an ambulance was called."
Mr Wood was rushed to University Hospital in Coventry where he spent the next three days having blood drained from his punctured lung.
Emery was arrested nearby and was still carrying the knife - taken from a drawer in his mother's kitchen.
Mr Wood later said: "I don’t normally let things bother me, but the nurses told me how close it was. I don’t hate him, but I can’t believe he’s done it.
"I’m not so much concerned for me, but for my son. I lost my dad when I was young, and I don’t want my son to grow up without a father."
Tariq Rashid, defending Emery, said his client regretted what he had done and had acted out of character.
Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told Emery: "You are a very lucky man because it is but a matter of chance you have not had to plead guilty to murder.
"Where that blow went has often resulted in death in other cases. Although there was only one blow, it really could have killed him and you’d have been facing a life sentence."
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