A YOUTH was 'looking for trouble' when he hacked two men in the face with a 'zombie' knife in Worcester, leaving one victim with a gaping wound and a broken skull.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named, was drunk and high on cannabis when he slashed the heads of both men during the knife attack in Quay Street, leaving both scarred for life.

He admitted two counts of wounding with intent and was detained for 40 months when he appeared before Judge Nicolas Cartwright at Worcester Crown Court on Monday following the attack on the 18-year-old victims on Friday, June 4 this year.

A video circulated on social media at the time, showing a man with a gaping wound to one side of his face as he sat on grass, bleeding heavily. The attacker could also be seen holding a large knife.

Judge Cartwright described the blade as 'a cranked bladed zombie style knife with a large heavy blade'.

He said: "It is capable of delivering a cutting blow with the sharp edge, a stabbing wound with the point, and a crushing blow because of its weight and size. In fact a crushing blow to the bones underneath the side of the face was caused in that way, as well as the incision through the skin and muscle to the side or your victim's face.

"You had consumed a very large quantity of alcohol and you had smoked cannabis. You were in a very public open space used by students at Worcester college. You were behaving in a way which demonstrated that you were looking for trouble. Your two victims were doing their best to prevent it.

"After you had initiated the violence you quickly produced the knife and you were swinging it around aiming at the heads of your two victims, and you made contact with both."

The threshold set by the Court of Appeal for what amounts to a prolonged or persistent assault is 'a high one' but Judge Cartwright told him: "Your actions crossed that threshold. The photographs of Jake Griffin taken at hospital show how dreadful the injury to him was.

"The image taken more recently shows how skilfully the devastating injury was repaired by surgeons, but this young man will bear a substantial and very visible scar to the left hand side of his face for the rest of his life.

"Coupled with the fracture underneath the wound, it amounts to a grave injury. The scarring will amount to a permanent and irreversible injury."

Rhys Waring suffered a wound to the side of his face in front of the ear which is much smaller and less obviously from a knife wound, the court heard.

However, Judge Cartwright said: "The wound was in a dangerous place. He recalls being told by a doctor that it had just missed a major blood vessel but there is no medical evidence to confirm that and so I cannot proceed on that basis. It was however plainly a wound that carried a risk of more serious injury."

In sentencing he took into account a psychiatric report which showed that the defendant has a borderline learning disability and mixed anxiety and depressive disorder.

"This does reduce you culpability to some extent, but that needs to be balanced against the fact that you chose to drink and to smoke cannabis" he said.

Because the youth pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity the sentence was reduce by a third from 60 months to 40 months.

Had he been an adult found guilty after trial, the judge would have imposed a sentence of seven and a half years.

The sentence will take place as a sentence of detention under section 250 of the sentencing act 2020.

Judge Cartwright said: "That is because the carrying of knives like this by young men and the use of them to settle petty grievances is taking the lives on regular basis. Everything should be done to mark society's desire to stop such offending and deterrent sentences are therefore necessary. "

Concurrent sentences were imposed for the possession of the blade and of the cannabis.