A TEENAGE boy who stabbed a school mate in the scrotum has been given a stark warning about the effects of knife crime after a judge spared him a custodial sentence.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was being sentenced at Preston Crown Court for stabbing another teenage boy in the scrotum at a bus stop outside Ribblesdale High School in Clitheroe, when Judge David Potter issued the warning.

Judge Potter said: “Official statistics on the number of offences involving knives or sharp objects recorded by police last year was higher than ever at 45,627.

“That’s a seven per cent rise on the previous year. It’s no wonder that young people live in fear that they will meet another youth who’s carrying a knife.

“At the time when you stabbed him you intended to cause him serious bodily harm and the seriousness of the offence must be taken into account.”

The court heard how on March 15 2019, while waiting at a bus stop outside his school, the defendant had been approached by the victim over an incident in which the defendant was accused of throwing eggs at the business of one of the victim’s friends.

Prosecuting, Peter Barr said: “One boy was arguing with the defendant, suggesting he’d thrown eggs at his relative’s business.

“The bus arrived but the defendant did not get on and a heated exchange of words between the two ensued.

“At this point, the victim, who was not part of the original disagreement, comes over to help his friend, and noticed the defendant kept reaching into his pocket.

“The victim asked the defendant if he had a knife. A third boy then came along, and arguing took place.”

Mr Barr told the court that as the defendant moved closer to the victim, the victim saw him pull something from his pocket so punched the defendant in the face.

He continued: “The victim then saw the knife in the defendant’s hand and thought he was going to stab him in the stomach but instead he directed the knife in a downwards motion and stabbed him in the groin.”

The court heard how the victim was taken to hospital where he needed glue to seal an inch-long wound in his scrotum.

Defending, Mark Stuart said the defendant, who has no previous dealings with the police, had felt intimidated and provoked by the boys.

He said: “Whatever the reason there’s no excuse for taking a knife to school and he is very fortunate that this wasn’t more serious than it was.

“He showed the police the knife when they attended his house and admitted his guilt straight away and was petrified of his time in the police station upon his arrest.

“In the last 17 months he has liaised with the youth offending team and his behaviour has been exemplary.”

The teenager had previously pleaded guilty at the magistrates court to possession of a bladed article in a public place, namely a kitchen knife, as well as pleading guilty to the charge of wounding with intent to cause GBH on the basis that the victim was older than him, he had not been involved in any incidents with the victim prior to the stabbing, and he had been confronted by the victim at the bus stop.

Judge Potter said: “I have come to the conclusion that while this is a lenient sentence for these offences, your welfare is of more paramount concern.”

The teenager, originally from Blackburn, was given an 18-month youth rehabilitation order, told to carry out 91 days of rehabilitation activity, was placed on a three-month curfew and made subject to a six-month supervision order.