A MAN who nearly died when a former friend slashed his face with a knife has welcomed his attacker's seven and a half year jail sentence.

Duncan Steed, 50, of Townsend, Williton, rugby tackled his victim to the ground and ripped his face open with a craft knife during an incident in the street in Whitecroft, Taunton Crown Court heard.

Matthew Brown, 36, suffered a nine-inch wound down the side of his face and neck and the knife nicked his jugular artery and exposed his jawbone, causing life-threatening blood loss.

Steed, who had fallen out with Mr Brown over an argument about an air bed, shouted that he was going to kill Mr Brown, who managed to free himself and call the police before receiving life saving treatment at the scene and later at Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital, said Robert Duval, prosecuting.

Two 13-year-old girls playing nearby witnessed the attack in October 2015 and were called to give evidence at Steed's trial after he denied causing the injuries, telling police Mr Brown had attacked him and accidentally fallen on the knife.

A jury unanimously found Steed guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous harm after his recent trial and he was jailed at a sentencing hearing on Friday.

Rebecca Bradberry, defending, said he had mental health problems and asked the judge to impose a community order with restrictions.

The court was told that he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder dating from the 1990s, when he worked as a Red Cross volunteer in a hospital and was "profoundly disturbed" by the injuries some patients had.

But Recorder Mr David Bartlett said Steed, despite having no previous convictions and a good work record, had been unanimously convicted of one of the most-serious offences.

He added: “You are an unwell gentleman” and emphasised that the prison authorities should continue his medication.

After the case, Mr Brown, who has since moved from Williton to Yeovil, said: "I'm pleased at the sentence - I was hoping for anything over five years and I think the judge has got it pretty much bang on.

"Now Steed has been sentenced, I can look forward and get on with my life.

"My life has been on hold because I felt I couldn't move forward until this was dealt with.

"The trial was stressful. Two of the witnesses were children and it's disgusting he put them through having to give evidence because he pleaded not guilty."