TWO violent robbers have been jailed for a total of 18 years after a shop raid which left a mini market owner’s son needing life-saving surgery.

The disabled victim lost more than half of his body’s blood after being repeatedly stabbed with a combat knife by Carl Garbutt.

Garbutt, and his accomplice Danny Nicholson, struck at the store in the centre of Middlesbrough just eight days after he was freed from prison.

Nicholson had earlier served a sentence for robbery and carrying a knife, and had been released the previous year, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The 37-year-old knife victim had gone to help his father as the intruders tried to snatch a till from Mini Food in Clarendon Road on October 19.

Police said afterwards that they “inflicted terror” on the family and the community, and praised those who helped with their investigation.

Garbutt plunged the fearsome fighting weapon into the man’s chest, breaking a rib and severing an artery which led to him needing a blood transfusion of 3.5 litres – the body has between 4.5 and 5.5 litres.

The victim also needed plastic surgery to a finger, which was left “hanging off” in the teatime attack, said prosecutor Emma Atkinson.

In an impact statement, his older sister – who was also caught up in the terrifying violence – told how he continues to be haunted by the ordeal.

“He is traumatised by the horror of that day, as are his family members, friends and neighbours,” said the 45-year-old, who explained that he has learning difficulties and is not allowed out alone.

“He has got very child-like qualities, a gentle soul.

“Despite his difficulties, he has got a very good memory, so he recalls the events of October 19 very vividly, in particular his finger hanging off, his ear being cut, and the fact he fell and his attacker continued to attack him.

“He doesn’t sleep well, he doesn’t wish to be left alone and he has nightmares. He repeatedly says he regrets opening the door and was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and blames himself for opening the door and not calling the police.”

Garbutt, 30, and Nicholson, 23, were followed by a passer-by, who kept his distance to make sure he was not seen, as they struggled through the streets with the till.

He was joined by security guards, who alerted the police and watched as the pair tried to smash open the cash register near Teesside University.

Garbutt and Nicholson, both of The Crescent, Middlesbrough, admitted robbery, wounding with intent cause grievous bodily harm and threatening a person with a blade.

Police also recovered a folding knife Nicholson had been carrying, and what was called a “modified knife” was found on university premises, but was not linked to the crimes.

Judge Sean Morris jailed Garbutt for ten years, and Nicholson for eight years.

He told them: “You teamed up and planned a robbery. You chose a small shop as your target. You went in and threatened to stab the shopkeeper.

“Whilst you, Nicholson, rifled through the till, severing wires to take it, you, Garbutt, ran up and stabbed him three times.

“You left, leaving him for dead, bleeding on the ground. He lost three and a half litres of blood. It was only the skill of the medics and the surgeons that you are not facing a murder charge.

“The knife was plunged into him with such force that it fractured a rib. You nearly severed his finger.

“It caused, no doubt, horrendous consequences for him mentally.”

The court heard that Nicholson got four years and eight months in 2013 for his part in a similar knife-point raid at a shop.

Garbutt has a robbery conviction going back to 2003 when a 16-year-old girl was threatened in the street and had £10 stolen.

In 2015, he received a sentence of six years for assault with intent to rob after he forced his way into someone’s flat and attacked them.

While he was serving that sentence, he was prosecuted for having unauthorised items in prison - two home-made blades.

It was just eight weeks after being freed from that sentence, that he and Nicholson struck at the shop.

The stabbing victim’s sister said he was in hospital for three weeks, still has restricted movement in his head, and is having physiotherapy because he has trouble bending because of the wounds to his chest.

She said: “If it wasn’t for the quick response of the emergency services and the medical care he received, he would have been dead.”

John Nixon, for Nicholson, said he did not anticipate Garbutt’s “utterly horrendous” attack, and has since shown a “scintilla of remorse”.

After the case, Cleveland Police spoke about it.

Detective Constable Aaron Brown said: “Both men inflicted terror into the community and left a man with life changing injuries as a result of their cowardly attack.

“I would like to thank staff from Teesside University and members of the public for their heroic actions on the day. Their bravery was outstanding and their assistance since the incident has been invaluable.

“I hope today’s sentences allows the victim and his family to move on with their lives knowing justice has been served.”