A Bedford man has pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and possesion of a knife.
David Chandler, 20, of Newnham Avenue was sentenced at Luton Crown Court to five years and six months in prison.
Judge Michael Kay QC, said: “In other circumstances this could have been a murder trial and you could have been facing a life sentence. But ultimately the injury was not that serious, although it was a frightening and traumatic event for the victim.
“This case is a very clear example of why people cannot carry knives for protection. For no obvious reason, in the heat of the moment, out comes the knife and it is used to attack someone.
“Without any provokation the defendant slashed the victim’s neck with a knife.”
Laura Blackband, prosecuting, said: “The victim was drinking with friends in the George and Dragon pub in Bedford town centre.”
“He had three stitches to the cut, and although the physical injury has healed, he is now wary when out at night.”
Mark Nichols, defending, said Chandler was drunk and had been stabbed himself, so took to taking a knife out with him for ‘protection’.
Nichols said: “The whole thing lasted a couple of seconds, and he has shown remorse and accepts responsibility. “He is adamant that he is going to use his time in custody the best he can.”
Detective constable Gemma Johnson, said: “Knife crime and violence will not be tolerated in Bedfordshire.
“This was an unprovoked attack on an innocent victim and it would never had happened if Chandler hadn’t had a knife with him that evening.
“This case is an example of the consequences of carrying a weapon - not only can you cause serious harm to another person, you also put yourself in danger, as well as at risk of ending up with a lengthy stint behind bars.
“There is no excuse for possessing a knife and I hope that this case serves as a stark message to young people that no good can come of carrying one.”
Chandler was sentenced to five years for GBH and six months for possession of a bladed article.