A TEENAGE cocaine addict stabbed a drug seller during a transaction at a car wash in the early hours of the morning, a court heard.

Aryton Glendenning thrust a kitchen knife into the abdomen of the seller, who he had known from school days.

Durham Crown Court was told Glendenning, 17, a drug user from the age of 15, had arranged to meet him at the closed car wash in Crook, at 1am on December 19.

The seller arrived in his car and spoke from the driver’s window to Glendenning, who was to pay him £140 for two bags of cocaine.

Glendenning asked for the cocaine, but the drug seller said he wanted the money first.

Ian West, prosecuting, said it was agreed to meet “half-way” and he gave Glendenning one of the two bags, before getting out of the car to collect the money and hand over the second bag.

But the defendant pulled out an 8in-bladed kitchen knife, later recovered from his nearby home, and stabbed him in the lower abdomen.

Mr West said Glendenning then took the second bag and ran off leaving his victim to stagger back to his car and drive to his girlfriend’s home.

Police were called and on arrival found the victim, “in considerable pain”.

He was transferred by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, where he was treated for the 5cm-deep wound piercing a lobe of the liver and into the stomach wall.

Following surgery he was returned to critical care and remained in hospital until Christmas Eve.

Glendenning, of George Street, Crook, was soon arrested and declined to answer police questions.

But the defendant, who has a previous clean record, admitted wounding with intent and possessing a knife in public, last month.

Robert Mochrie, mitigating, told the sentencing hearing it was a “wake up call” as to the dangers of drugs.

“He was under the influence of drugs at the time. Had he not been, he clearly would not have behaved in this way.”

Mr Mochrie added that Glendenning can use his time in custody to overcome his addiction.

Recorder Jamie Hill QC imposed a custodial sentence of three years and four months, beginning in youth detention and then, after his 18th birthday in June, in a young offenders’ institution.

He told Glendenning he was lucky he was not to be answering for murder, adding that, “fortunately” the victim is making a physical recovery, but he has suffered some psychological damage as a result of the attack.