A MAN has today been jailed for two years for knifing a teenager at the Stockton Riverside Festival.

The judge told Michael Dixon, 22, that he had marred the festival which was a joyous event and something of which the people of Stockton could be proud.

Fear spread along the town's Finkle Street when Dixon was seen covered in blood and waving a knife, said prosecutor Martina Connolly.

Ambulance staff went to the aid of Dixon's victim Michael Hancock, 19, whom he stabbed twice in the back on August 4 with a Swiss Army knife, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Michael Hancock had gone to the aid of his friend James Parker who was in an altercation with Dixon.

Mr Hancock was walking away when he felt a hard punch to his back, and when he turned around he saw Dixon screaming abuse at him.

The pair rolled over on the ground punching and kicking but it ended when Mr Hancock pushed Dixon away.

Mr Hancock's friends then noticed that his back was bleeding heavily. He was treated in hospital and discharged within hours.

When Dixon saw the police he was still waving the knife and he shouted at them "Come on", added Miss Connolly.

During his arrest he threw the knife over a wall but it was recovered later.

Dixon was drunk, and when he was interviewed the next day he said that it had been an argument between chavs and emos - fans of emotional, heavy metal music who wear tight clothing.

Dixon claimed that he had the knife to open bottles, and he said he regretted his actions.

Miss Connolly said that Dixon had previous convictions for possessing a machete and a knife, and for violence.

Robin Denny, defending, said that a prison sentence was inevitable.

He said that Dixon was an emo who had been picked on by Mr Hancock, a chav with convictions for drunk and disorderly behaviour, affray and assault on police.

He added: "The defendant initially intended to frighten the victim.

"He was obviously initially attacked by someone who is particularly prone to attacking people for no good reason late at night."

The Recorder of Middlesbrough Judge Peter Fox QC told Dixon: "Your drunkenness affords you not the slightest excuse.

"You have got a very bad record for violence, but in particular this is the fourth time in your young life that you have been convicted of having an offensive weapon.

"The suggestion that you had bought that Swiss Army knife to open bottles is all very well. There are such things as bottle openers, you don't stab people in the back with a bottle opener."

The judge added: "The Riverside Festival is something that the people of Stockton can be proud of.

"It's a happy, joyous event, almost everybody behaves themselves and has a good time. You're the exception, your behaviour was particularly bad."

Dixon of Mapleton Road, Hartlepool, was jailed for two years after he pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon, unlawful wounding and affray.