A MAN who carried out a late-night stabbing in Redditch town centre has been jailed for six years at Worcester Crown Court.

Judge Toby Hooper QC said Joe Mooney, aged 31, was in the grip of alcohol when he attacked an innocent man, Kristian Rolston, in Church Green West on November 10, 2012.

There had been clear and compelling evidence for the jury to convict Mooney, of Albert Close, Studley, on charges of wounding with intent and having a knife in a public place.

The judge said his feelings were for the innocent man's mother who was awoken in the middle of the night to be told that her son was having emergency surgery in intensive care.

Peter Grice, prosecuting, said Mr Rolston had been for a meal with his girlfriend and then gone to a club. They left about 2.30am with a friend, Christopher Dodd, when Mooney approached and a scuffle broke out. Mooney swung a punch and stabbed Mr Rolston in the side before Mr Dodd disarmed him.

Mooney was also hurt and he and Mr Rolston were taken to separate hospitals. Mr Rolston was kept in for a week and needed an operation.

Mooney claimed he had been assaulted and was defending himself. He would never carry a knife when he was going out, he said.

Andrew Davidson, defending, said there had been a number of "sub incidents" that night which had left it unclear what had happened. Mooney had been intoxicated and suffered head injuries but had made no confession to police although he was in a "vulnerable" state that night.

Mooney had previous convictions but they were for petty offences and there had been nothing for the last 10 years.

Mooney had been on a curfew for 536 days and the judge ordered 268 days to be deducted from the sentence.