A man who almost died in an unprovoked knifing which blinded him last night revealed he "couldn't be happier" with his attacker's 20-year jail term.
Adam Smyth (20) from the Best Hill area of Belfast was jailed for his role in the vicious attack on Marc Keller and his brother Anthony. As he was led from the dock of Belfast Crown Court yesterday, Smyth threatened the investigating officer.
The Keller brothers travelled from Killyleagh to Belfast on November 5 2005 for a night out with friends - but they were accosted by Smyth and two co-accused outside the Northern Bank in Donegall Square North.
Smyth, Alan Stewart (20) from Finnis Close and Philip Irwin (28) from Castle Street in Newtownards launched an unprovoked attack on the brothers.
Smyth, who carried an eight-inch knife from a house in east Belfast to the city centre, stabbed Marc Keller several times in the attack, slicing a main artery and damaging a lung.
His brother Anthony was also stabbed in the upper thigh, and required dental repair work.
Speaking after the trio were convicted, Marc said: "I couldn't be happier with the sentence. The judge told Smyth he would rue the day he did what he did and I'm delighted. The sentence is the best Christmas present I have ever had. I'm determined to get on with things now, so for me it's New Year, new life."
Stewart, was handed a 14-year jail term with an additional year's post-custodial supervision and Irwin, who has 133 criminal convictions, was jailed for 12 years.
Marc also paid tribute to his family and girlfriend Lucia Murphy (22) for helping him to recover: "I've definitely benefited from the love of a good woman."