A man who repeatedly stabbed his neighbour after "losing his temper" in a horrific attack outside his own home has been jailed for five years.
- From today: Man who stabbed neighbour over parking row 'lost all memory of the attack' after 'seeing red'
Lee Francis, 38, admitted to stabbing his neighbour Darpo Clarke through his car window following a row outside their homes in Lincoln Road, in New Malden, on April 18 last year.
The neighbours had argued and fought after Mr Clarke returned home from a holiday in Greece with his partner to find Francis' car parked in his driveway.
A sentencing at Kingston Crown Court today heard how Francis saw "red midst" after being "humiliated" in front of watching neighbours during the fight.
A jury unanimously acquitted him of attempted murder, but he was sentenced having admitted to causing grievous bodily harm prior to the trial.
He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, five to be served in the community, and eight months for possession of a offensive weapon to be served concurrently.
In his sentencing, Judge Paul Dodgson said: "You lost your temper on that day and you lost it in a way that was disastrous for your victim who you claim had been your friend.
"The effect it has had upon him has been enormous.
"There is no doubt that his life will never be the same."
During the trial, Francis claimed to have lost memory of the attack having been blinded by rage following the fight.
It was alleged that his victim Mr Clarke started the fight having become irritated that Francis and his partner Jill Webber did not move their car quick enough from his drive.
He approached the front door to Francis' house where a fight soon broke out.
Witnesses described seeing the pair grappling and "rugby tackling" with each other before Mr Clarke was escorted back to his car by his partner Melanie Sharp.
Parts of the confrontation were caught on CCTV, but the actual stabbing was obscured by a parked van.
Judge Dodgson added: "It's quite clear to me having watched that video that you did indeed see the red midst.
"It may be in the shock of the moment you can't remember.
"I do accept that this was an act very much out of character.
"You weren't going to take someone humiliating you in front of the neighbours, that's what sparked it - of that I am sure."
The court heard that Francis stabbed Mr Clarke at least four times, with the victim rushed to hospital with what Judge Dodgson called "dreadful" injuries.
A victim impact statement read in part by the judge told that Mr Clarke has been plagued by nightmares since the incident and is scared to leave his home.
He had also been planning to start a family, but due to his wife now having to work full time has put this on hold.
Defending lawyer Kerim Fuad QC pleaded with Judge Dodgson to offer credit to Francis in his sentencing, pointing to his previous bouts of depression and his guilty plea.
Character references were also submitted calling Francis "conscientious" and a "family man".
Mr Fuad QC said: "This is the first and last time he will ever appear in any court and he has been remorseful for causing that injury for a very long time."
Judge Dodgson concluded: "I accept that you had your difficulties before this offence, of your depression, but I'm not persuaded that it was of such a nature it was to interfere in our life.
"You knew what you'd done. You knew there was no question of self defence. Anyone who saw that video would know that."
Members of Francis' family cried in the public gallery as he was sent from the dock.