A KNIFE-wielding yob has been jailed for stabbing a man in the back after launching a violent and unprovoked assault.

Lewis Firth took up a boxer's stance and threatened to kill the man and set fire to his home, Teesside Crown Court heard.

He attacked the victim after he was challenged about damage caused to parked cars when he had a row with his girlfriend.

The 20-year-old reacted angrily, when he was approached by his victim, by throwing a number of punches before pulling a knife out and stabbing the man in the middle of the back.

The court heard the defendant had been drinking with family before the confrontation in Darlington last October.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said Firth punched the man in the face several times before plunging the knife into him.

She said Firth was bouncing around like a boxer before punching his victim several times shouting 'I will kill you and your family and burn your house down' before pulling a knife out of his pocket and lunging at the man.

"The man said 'you have stabbed me' and the defendant said 'what are you going to do about it?'. The man felt where the knife had gone into him and walked away from the area.

"He heard one of the women call him Lewis. The police attended and saw the defendant in the vicinity and made to arrest him."

Miss Masters said the defendant struggled with the officers as they tried to subdue him but Firth spat at one of them.

Firth, of Whitby Way, Darlington, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent, possession of a pointed weapon, threatening to kill the man, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest following the incident on Newton Lane in the town.

In mitigation, Kelleigh Lodge, said her client had accepted full responsibility for his actions and wanted to apologise to the victim.

She added: "His time on remand has had an impact on him and has been a wake up call for him."

Judge Stephen Ashurst sentenced Firth to five years and two months in a young offenders' institute.

"The man did no more than try to find out what was going on and remonstrate with you about your behaviour and reacted in a violent and aggressive way – this was thuggish behaviour towards an innocent man you committed," he said.

"You are very fortunate that the injuries caused by the knife were not more serious, if not fatal."