A 'DANGEROUS' knifeman who stabbed his neighbour in the neck and stomach has been sentenced to 19 years for attempted murder.

Andrew John Charles Thompson was handed an extended sentence of 19 years at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday for the attempted murder of his neighbour who lived in the same block of maisonettes in Hereford.

The 53-year-old of Dartmouth Court, Whittern Way, Hereford who was ruled to be dangerous in law by the judge, was told the custodial element was 14 years with an extended licence period of five years.

Thomson must serve two-thirds of the custodial element of the sentence (the 14 years) before the Parole Board considers whether it is safe to release him and, if so, under what terms.

He was told this would be a period of nine years and four months with any time spent on remand counting towards that sentence.

Thompson, who had previously got on well with his neighbour, showed no emotion when he learned his fate.

He had consumed a cocktail of drink (including wine and vodka) and pills (he said 70 codeine tablets) before he began banging on the door of his 32-year-old neighbour's flat at around 1.30am on Tuesday, July 27 last year.

Thompson banged with such force he cracked the glass in the door.

Inside was the victim of the stabbing, his partner and three children.

Michael Williams, prosecuting, said: "He was banging on the door, asking for help, saying 'help me I'm dying!'"

Other neighbours heard Thompson saying he had taken an overdose and the occupier said if he came out he would not be very happy.

Thompson, who had a knife behind his back, assured the victim he had no weapon.

"As soon as he opened the door, he lunged at him. At first, he thought it was a punch to his stomach then he looked down and he could see a nasty wound to his stomach with his muscles and fat exposed, coming out of the flesh," said Mr Williams.

Thompson then aimed the knife again towards the victim's face. He managed to deflect the knife away but the blade went into his neck instead, cutting the jugular vein.

His partner retreated upstairs to protect the children after seeing her partner stabbed. Her 999 call was played in court. At one point the sobbing woman says: "Oh God, there's blood everywhere!"

The male victim had retreated to a balcony and closed the door, using a towel to stem the flow of blood from his neck as Thompson tried to get in.

Thompson even warned the victim that if he did not open the door he would 'go upstairs' to where his family were. "He described that as the worst feeling in the world," said Mr Williams.

However, Thompson left the flat. He later appeared at his own window, asking the victim 'what happened to you?' as the victim replied: "You did it."

Thompson was heard to say: "Oh well, I'm sorry."

Mr Williams told the court that Thompson 'then began to laugh as if it wasn't serious'.

He said of the victim: "He believed he was going to die and asked his partner to call his mother. He wanted to see his mother before he died."

The victim required emergency surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. There was blood in his abdominal cavity. A CT scan revealed a deep penetrating wound to his neck.

The jugular vein had to be tied and there was an injury to the colon and the abdominal wall.

Thompson told his lodger what he had done.

"She described him as smiling and saying he will die soon," said Mr Williams. He was seen to put the knife down on the kitchen worktop before he lit a cigarette.

Mark Thompson, defending, said: "There was no suggestion of any animosity between them at all. Andrew Thompson can't explain why he did what he did that night."

However, he said his client had shown 'genuine remorse' and had been undergoing a mental health crisis, that he had made a determined and clear decision to end his own life.