A TEENAGER who slashed his one-time best friend’s face in a fight walked free from court – because the victim brought the knife and had started the violence.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Russell Metcalfe had to have a blood transfusion and stitches, after he suffered a cut from his eyebrow to his temple and a laceration from his temple to his ear. A surgeon described the five centimetre gash as quite deep.

He had been left scarred and with permanent difficulty raising his eyebrow due to underlying nerve damage.

The hearing had been told how Mr Metcalfe had produced the weapon and also threw the first punch in the trouble between he and Mark O’Mara.

O’Mara, 19, who started offending when he was 15 and was said to have tried the patience of the Youth Offending Team, had admitted wounding.

The defendant, of Saltburn Street, Burnley, was given 16 months in detention, suspended for two years.