A 21-year-old man who stabbed two brothers during a birthday party was sentenced to two years on Thursday but will serve only six months followed by 18 months under supervised licence on his release.
Judge Donna McColgan QC told Jamie Love she was prepared to take this unusual step as evidence suggested the longer licenced period would be of "considerable assistance" to him.
However, the Belfast Crown Court judge warned the remorseful dad of one from Tynan Close in Newtownabbey he must live at an address approved by his supervising officer and participate in any programmes deemed appropriate by him.
Love pleaded guilty to assaulting one brother, occasioning him actual bodily harm, maliciously wounding a second, and possession of a knife with intent to commit an offence, all on October 12, 2018.
Judge McColgan said the factual background to the stabbings was somewhat unclear given the amount of drink and or drugs consumed by those involved, and while Love's guilty pleas came at a late stage, they were "most welcome" to the prosecution given the state of the evidence.
The judge said it appeared Love, who had gone along to the party with his girlfriend, got involved in an argument with another girl and that he produced a knife, stabbing the two brothers when they intervened.
The judge said while these were aggravating factors, in mitigation were his pleas, genuine remorse and his efforts since the incident in turning his life around, but perhaps more importantly was the suggestion in his pre-sentence report he would benefit more from a longer licenced period.