A man who launched a violent attack on a friend in his own home was told it was only good fortune that he didn’t inflict serious injuries during the assault.

Gareth Swainston slashed at the man while he had a knife in his hand after punching and kicking him to the ground when he attacked him in his own home.

The 39-year-old dragged his victim into his own home before embarking on the sustained assault last year after the defendant had chained the man’s door shut.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the victim suffered numerous cuts and grazes to his face, arms, and hands during the attack.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said the victim had returned home to find numerous items had been thrown out and there was a chain across his door.

“He tried to drag him into the apartment while he punched him with a knife in his hand,” he said.

“The victim says that Swainston got on top of him and continued to punch and hit him. He held the knife to his face and slashed across him a number of times.

“Swainston said ‘if the police turn up, you’re dead’ – the victim feared that his life was in danger.”

Mr Pettengell said the man suffered a significant number of injuries, including cuts to his mouth, scalp, and arms.

In a victim impact statement, the man said he was too scared to go out on his own in case he bumped into the defendant.

He added: “I live in constant fear of a knife attack which could result in serious consequences for me. I do my best not to leave the house and only do so to attend appointments.

“I’m petrified of Swainston and what he is capable of.”

The Northern Echo: Gareth SwainstonGareth Swainston (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Swainston, of High Northgate, Darlington, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent following the attack on August 17.

Mark Styles, mitigating, said his client deeply regrets his behaviour and understands the seriousness of his situation.

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He added: “He has shown remorse and bitterly regrets getting enraged the way he was and for losing control of himself.”

Recorder Aisha Wadoodi branded Swainston a dangerous offender as she passed an eight-year extended sentence for the brutal attack.

She said: “It was more by good fortune than design that he didn’t suffer more serious injuries, due to the length of the attack, it really was good luck.”

The father-of-two was also made subject of a ten-year restraining order to protect his victim.