A 24-year-old man who stabbed another man in a "sustained and persistent" attack has been jailed for five years.
The victim sustained two wounds to his head which required 17 staples after he was knifed coming to the aid of a female friend in October 2019.
Piaras Heatley - deemed to be a dangerous offender by both the Probation Board and Judge Stephen Fowler QC - was handed an extended custodial sentence of five years in jail followed by three years on licence.
Judge Fowler said that during the violent incident, Heatley showed "little mercy" and a "callous indifference to the plight of this victim".
From Pim Street in Belfast, Heatley appeared for his sentencing at Belfast Crown Court via a video-link with Maghaberry. He admitted wounding a man with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm on October 19, 2019 and of assaulting a woman occasioning her actual bodily harm.
At around 6.15pm on that date, Heatley called at the Belfast home of a woman he knew. He was told she wasn't in, but returned an hour later drunk, when the woman asked him to leave.
He refused to go so she texted a male friend asking if he would come and help remove Heatley from the house. By the time he arrived Heatley had left to go to the off licence, but when Heatley returned he was told he wasn't welcome and left.
The male friend also left, but a short time later he received another message from the woman saying Heatley has returned with a knife. He rushed back, saw Heatley standing in the street with two knives, picked up a brick and a stand-off between the two men ensued.
He managed to calm Heatley down briefly and got him to drop the knives but then Healtley then ran into the house and grabbed the other man by the throat.
He overpowered him, got on top of him and punched him then shouted 'I'm going to kill you, where's your neck' before running to the kitchen and returning with a knife.
The woman tried to fend Heatley off and stood in front of her friend as Heatley made stabbing motions at him. The male friend then fled a bang on his head, and when he put his hand up he noticed blood. The woman was also injured.
The wounded male fled the house followed by Heatley brandishing the knife. He started screaming for help and a passing motorist stopped and called the police.
When officers arrived, Heatley was arrested in the woman's house, and was highly agitated during the journey to Musgrave Street police station, where he gave a 'no comment' response during interview.
The injured male was taken to the Ulster Hospital where he was treated for two lacerations to his head, a broken nose, facial bruising and a bite-mark to his cheek. The woman was also treated for a superficial cut to her scalp.
Defence barrister Ciaran Mallon QC accepted this was a "nasty offence", and that Heatley has made the case there was an element of provocation as something was said about his mother.
Mr Mallon said regardless of this, Heatley has since acknowledged his use of violence was "unproportionate" and that he "lost control."
Mr Mallon spoke of his client's relative youth and asked Judge Fowler not to impose a term that would be a "crushing blow".
The barrister also revealed that despite battling both addiction and mental health issues, Heatley was a man with "considerable intellectual ability", who has enrolled in an Open University course whilst on remand and who wants to lead "a better and more productive life".
The Belfast Recorder said that whilst Healtley has expressed a desire to address his issues, he could not ignore his "substantative, relevant and escalating" criminal record which included multiple offences for serious violence and possessing knives.
He was handed an extended custodial sentence of five years in prison followed by three years on licence, which Judge Fowler said was necessary to both punish Heatley and protect the public.
As Heatley was deemed dangerous he may not be automatically released on licence after serving half his sentence. Instead, he may spend the full five years behind bars, and when released he will be on licence for a further three years.