A KURDISH refugee who slashed a man's face with a Stanley knife was last night beginning a three-year jail sentence.

A judge at Teesside Crown Court also recommended that Zana Ahmed, 21, who had been living in the area, be deported at the end of his sentence as he had shown a "dangerous lack of self control".

Ahmed admitted a charge of wounding Yusaf Osman, a 21-year-old Somali refugee, by slashing his face. A plea of not guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was accepted by the prosecution.

Peter Makepeace, prosecuting, said Ahmed had arrived in Britain on February 14 this year and had been housed as a refugee in Shaftesbury Street, Stockton.

He said Mr Osman was also living in Stockton, in Hartington Road. On June 20, Mr Osman was visited by an Algerian refugee named Abbas, who then went to an English class at Stockton International Family Centre.

This class, Mr Makepeace said, was also attended by Ahmed, and there was an argument between the two.

Abass returned to Mr Osman's home. The Somali man went outside and found Ahmed and three other men.

He said Ahmed began punching Mr Osman and then pulled out a Stanley knife and slashed his face on the forehead. He then punched his victim once more.

In the police interview Ahmed said he had been very angry and had been insulted by Abass and knew him to be part of a group of refugees who carried knives. He said he had also drunk three-quarters of a bottle of whisky.

Stephen Ashurst, for Ahmed, said the Northern Iraq-born man had been a mechanic.

He said Ahmed had "fallen foul" of the Iraqi Guards and his life threatened, that was why he had left the country.

Ahmed, he said, who was sorry for what he had done, had no previous convictions and had been in custody for more than five months.

Judge David Bryant said the attack was unprovoked and jailed Ahmed for three years. He also made a recommendation he be deported, although the decision would be made by the Home Secretary.