'Cowardly' Man Stabbed Friend in the Back in Dispute Over 'Loud' Girlfriend, Court Hears

A man nearly killed a childhood friend, whom he had invited to his home, after attacking him with a knife during an argument.

Paul Ford, 30, had asked his friend and the man's girlfriend, as well as another man, to join him in the garden of his house in Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man—a British crown dependency in the Irish Sea.

The gathering, which took place just weeks after coronavirus restrictions had been lifted on the island, turned sour in the early hours of July 11, 2020. Ford asked the group to leave, accusing the woman of being "loud" and saying she was disturbing his sleeping children, the court in Douglas was told.

When the woman became annoyed, Ford pushed her to the ground, which left her with bruises on her knee and head. His friend then leapt to defend his girlfriend and punched Ford several times, at one point pulling his jersey over his head.

Ford then picked up a knife that had been used in a barbecue earlier that day and went on the attack. He slashed his friend in the back and thigh and also slashed his elbow, the BBC reported.

Witnesses said Ford then threw the knife into a neighbour's garden and ran into his house, shirtless and covered in splatters of blood.

Graeme Cook—the judge, who is known as a deemster in the self-governing crown dependency—said it was "only through luck" that the victim had not died.

Deemster Cook said Ford had "initiated the violence" and there had been a "degree of premeditation" in the attack because he had deliberately picked up the knife to stab his friend.

Describing Ford as "very cowardly," the judge said any one of the injuries "could have been fatal."

Ford was also facing a drugs charge at the time of the incident. Around £40,000 ($55,000) of cannabis had been found by police at his home in February 2019.

Ford was charged after he had been spotted driving a van to the back of a butcher's shop, where boxloads of the drug were loaded into his vehicle. He pleaded guilty to storing the drugs for money and admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Ford was given a jail term of seven years and two months for all three charges.

Last month, James Markham, 45, a father of three in Chingford, north-east London, was stabbed to death after confronting a group of teenagers outside his home. A 14-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with his murder.

Douglas on the Isle of Man
Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man, is pictured in this stock image. A man from Douglas was jailed for over seven years after he stabbed his childhood friend during an argument. Getty