A MAN stabbed his partner twice in an “over-reaction” to her friendly greeting to a visitor to her home.

Mark Simon Johnstone took exception when the woman welcomed the caller, a friend she had not seen for a few weeks, with a kiss to the cheek before inviting him to have a seat in the living room.

Durham Crown Court heard that the friendly gesture was greeted angrily by Johnstone, who had been drinking heavily for several hours at the house in Brandon.

Amrit Jandoo, prosecuting, told the court: “It seems he was enraged by the brief kiss and left the room, returning with an 8in-bladed kitchen knife.”

Mr Jandoo said Johnstone threatened to cut his partner’s throat, but when the caller tried to reason with him, he, too, was warned he could be stabbed.

Realising he was getting nowhere, the visitor left and went to a nearby home of another acquaintance, to phone the police.

He went back to the scene of the incident to find household items strewn across the floor, Johnstone holding the knife in the sitting room, while his partner was bleeding heavily from the face.

“The defendant jumped up, waving the knife round, and there was no reasoning with him.

“In trying to disarm him, the visitor received a cut to the finger,” said Mr Jandoo.

When police arrived, officers told the defendant to put down the knife, which he did, and his partner was found in the bedroom bleeding from her face and her buttock.

She underwent hospital treatment, for the two wounds, which were treated with steri-strips in hospital, before she was discharged.

Mr Jandoo said she refused to co-operate with the police or the subsequent prosecution.

Johnstone, who kicked an officer in the leg as he was being booked in at Peterlee Police Station, admitted stabbing the woman, having been drinking whisky and vodka for several hours beforehand.

He said he was annoyed as when the visitor called he felt his partner was not appropriately dressed.

Johnstone claimed his partner brought the knife into the room and he disarmed her, but this was not accepted by the prosecution.

The 39-year-old defendant, now said to be of no fixed address, admitted causing grievous bodily harm, assault by beating and assaulting a police constable.

Chris Morrison, mitigating, said Johnstone, originally from Nottingham, came to the North-East after meeting a previous partner via the internet.

Mr Morrison said although he was in work, Johnstone lost his job through his mounting drink problem, but he claimed all parties involved on the day of the incident, on September 22, had been drinking.

“My client clearly over-reacted to the friendliness of the overture offered to the visitor, but did accept responsibility promptly, and is now remorseful over the incident, for which he is very sorry.”

The court heard Johnstone has a previous similar conviction, stabbing a man in a fight, for which he was jailed for 16 months at Derby Crown Court, in 2008.

Jailing him for 26 months, Recorder Joanne Kidd told Johnstone: “There was no reason to react the way you did.

“It’s a matter of concern that you did react like that.”