Darlington man jailed for unprovoked knife attack on friend

Gareth Swainston, 39, was living with the victim in Darlington when he commited the assault. Credit: Durham Constabulary

A man has been jailed for an unprovoked knife attack on his friend.

Gareth Swainston, 39, was living with the victim in Darlington after he had become homeless and was seeking refuge.

The incident unfolded after the victim returned home to find his personal belongings had been smashed outside the house.

Upon entering, he was confronted by Swainston, who dragged him inside while brandishing a knife and threatening him.

Swainston then proceeded to inflict cuts across the victim's face and body while punching and kicking him.

Gareth Swainston was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court. Credit: PA

The victim managed to escape and contacted the police who arrested the 39-year-old.

Swainston has now been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at a hearing at Teesside Crown Court.

PC Beadnall of Darlington CID said: “This was a vicious, unprovoked attack perpetrated by Swainston, who can only be described as a dangerous individual with a propensity for serious violence. 

“Swainston has taken advantage of the victim's good nature and has repaid him by leaving him with scars, both mentally and physically, for life.

“The victim was safeguarded thanks to a swift response from officers. Darlington CID picked up the subsequent investigation, remanding Swainston into custody to ensure the ongoing safety of the victim. 

“The eight-year sentence imposed upon Swainston is a testament to the fact that the police and the criminal justice system have zero tolerance for any form of knife crime and will impose severe penalties on those brazen enough to carry out attacks such as these.”

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