A TEENAGER who stabbed his “friend” twice during a drunken fight has walked free from court.

Burnley Crown Court heard Isa Akhtar regularly fought with victim Haider Ali Hussain and the week before the stabbing Mr Hussain had knocked the defendant out.

Prosecuting, Lisa Worsley said last July, 18-year-old Akhtar, Mr Hussain and three other friends, Jamal Jamil, Haider Nawaz and Abdiel Khalif, were ‘chilling out’ at the area known as the Black Path in Accrington.

Ms Worsley said that according to Mr Hussain Mr Jamil said to the defendant and victim: “Why don’t you two have a fight?”

Akhtar is then said to have stood next to Mr Hussain, who thought the defendant was joking, and said: “You’re not going to fight me. You’re not going to do anything.”

Mr Hussain then thought Akhtar had punched him in the stomach and chest but when he grabbed the defendant’s hand he realised he was carrying a knife, Ms Worsley said.

Mr Hussain cut his hand as he grabbed the knife.

Ms Worsley said: “At that point he ran away. Isa Akhtar threw the knife. The knife landed in front of him. Isa Akhtar chased after him.”

According to Mr Nawaz, who had arrived late with a bottle of vodka, Akhtar and Mr Hussain were both drunk.

He said he was talking to Mr Jamil when an argument started between the defendant, who has hearing difficulties, and Mr Hussain.

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The court heard Mr Hussain had said to Akhtar: “You’re not going to fight me. I have already put you on your backside. You’re not going to hit me.”

Mr Nawaz said the men regularly had fights, Akhtar had been knocked unconscious the previous week by the victim, but they had never used knives before.

Mr Nawaz said he heard Akhtar asking Mr Hussain what he had said before appearing to punch him to the body.

Mr Nawaz said he subsequently realised the defendant had stabbed Mr Hussain and said: “What have you done?”

Ms said Akhtar responded by saying: “I have stabbed him.”

Mr Nawaz said Mr Jamil then slapped Akhtar in the face.

According to Mr Jamil’s versions of events Akhtar had called Mr Hussain fat, which prompted the victim to remark on how dark the defendant was.

When Mr Hussain is said to have made a further disparaging remark Akhtar is alleged to have said: “I can’t hear you. If you’re going to swear say it louder.”

Mr Jamil said Akhtar then produced a blue item and lunged at Mr Hussain with it.

As Akhtar pursued Mr Hussain the victim was shouting: “I’m bleeding.”

When Akhtar returned Mr Jamil said he had a blue bandana in the waistband of his trousers which he said he thought was wrapped around the knife.

Following the stabbing the victim ran to the nearby Tesco store where he was spotted by security guard Adeel Hussain.

After slumping against a wall Mr Hussain kept asking the security guard if he was going to die.

He was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital where he was treated for two stab wounds to the body - measuring 1.5cm and 1cm - and defensive wounds to the right hand. He was discharged the following day.

Akhtar, of Buxton Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

Defending, Mark Stuart said his client was 17 at the time of the incident and was extremely sorry about what had happened. He said his client had problems with his hearing and sight, which had left him vulnerable to bullying when he was younger.

Mr Stuart said: “The consequences for him is he has had to leave his immediate family. He has lived with his uncle for the last 12 months in Keighley. During that time there has been no further offending.”

Recorder Neville Biddle said people who cause injuries with knives almost always lose their liberty but on this occasion he was prepared to suspend the sentence.

Akhtar was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. He must also complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and nine months of alcohol treatment.