A TRAVELLER who stabbed his victim seven times during a 'cowardly' knife attack was given an extra year in jail following a 'gun threat' to a Worcester jury.

Faybian Magee stabbed his victim seven times during a fight outside a nightclub, including three times to the chest.

The 20-year-old, of no fixed address, was jailed for a total of 16 years at Worcester Crown Court on Monday after being found guilty by a jury.

When convicted of wounding with intent (section 18), he made a gesture from the dock, described by the judge as 'putting his finger to his temple as though it were a gun' before pointing at the jury foreman.

Judge Robert Juckes QC, the Recorder of Worcester, confessed he had not witnessed the gesture but spoke to others who had, calling it a display of ‘gross contempt'.

He apologised to members of the jury who had witnessed the gesture and also experienced abuse from the defendant's friends in the public gallery, telling the panel: "Cases of this sort arouse strong feelings."

As a result of the gesture the judge imposed an extra year in prison on top of the 15 year sentence for the attack itself, taking the total sentence to 16 years.

A loud gasp rose up from the public gallery as the total sentence was announced. A security guard was brought in to keep order in anticipation of the heated reaction.

More shouting, including obscenities, erupted from the defendant’s friends as they left the courtroom and Magee was led down into the cells to begin his sentence.

The stabbing happened outside Fever nightclub in Redditch in March 2018 following a scuffle between Magee and Hayden Porter inside the club.

After the attack Mr Porter lost blood and slipped in and out of consciousness before he was taken to hospital for emergency care, his life saved due to medical intervention.

The court heard that witness Sarah Dayus tried to push away those who were attacking Mr Porter which included Magee. The judge commended her and said he wished to express his respect for the 'courage she showed'.

Nicholas Berry, prosecuting, said the attack had caused Mr Porter lifelong disability due to nerve damage and permanent scarring. In a victim personal statement Mr Porter said he had withdrawn from society and his injuries meant he had been out of work for five months.

In April this year he was still undergoing treatment and needed to have various hospital visits.

Mr Berry laid out Magee's previous convictions which included affray, battery, possession of class A drugs with intent to supply and criminal damage.

Mr Berry described how prison officers had tried to break up a fight involving Magee and others attacking another inmate on December 1, 2016.

He said Magee had stamped on a female prison officer's face and ribs and stamped on a male officer's elbow, receiving an eight month suspended sentence as a result.

Andrew Jackson, defending, said there was 'an element of willingness' in combat between the two men during the incident outside the nightclub.

He said: "The complainant ran towards his assailant with a view to engage in combat."

Before the sentence was passed he had asked the judge to bear in mind that his client was only 18 at the time of the offence.

He described the gesture made to the jury foreman as one 'prevalent in the travelling community' to denote that the person was 'shot in the head, namely lacking all reason'. Magee had apologised for the gesture, he said.

Judge Juckes said the attack was ‘category one’, the most serious within the guidelines. This attracts a sentence of between nine and 16 years with a starting point of 12 years.

He told Magee that, but for medical intervention, Mr Porter could have died. He added: "It would have been a murder case because intent to cause grievous bodily harm has been proved."

He added: "Apart from being very serious violence, it was a gross, cowardly way of confronting him. No sooner had you started exchanging blows than you pulled the knife on him."

The judge said there was a degree of pre-meditation and arming with Magee waiting outside the nightclub. An Asian male named 'Ash' (called by Magee from inside the club) suggested a fight around the corner before the stabbing took place.

Judge Juckes added: "Everyone is aware that there is an epidemic of knife crime in this country at the moment. This comes precious close to attempted murder."

He said stab wounds to the chest were 'the most serious, life-threatening stab wounds you can inflict'.

Magee will serve half his sentence in prison and half on licence. He was warned that if he committed further acts of violence the courts would not hesitate to find him dangerous. Dangerous offenders can be given extended sentences and their release does not come automatically at the halfway point of their prison term but has to be sanctioned by the Parole Board.