A MAN who stabbed his victim so hard in the back that his knife blade got stuck grinned as he was jailed for 12 years.

Nathan Hawkins, 26, admitted wounding Adam Cyruszys with intent in Banbury on February 12 last year.

The wound was just centimetres away from being fatal, Judge Ian Pringle revealed at Hawkins’ sentencing on Tuesday at Oxford Crown Court.

Peter De Feu, defending, said Hawkins was looking forward to the safety and stability of jail.

Hawkins’ two teenage accomplices – 18-year-old Corey Reid and a 17-year-old whose identity is protected by law – both denied the same charge but were found guilty by a jury on March 30.

The court heard Mr Cyruszys looked out of his window after hearing the sound of bins being kicked over outside his home in the early hours of February 12, 2014.

He went out, saw Hawkins and the two youths and approached them, at which point Hawkins pulled out a knife and yelled: “I’ll f****** kill you.”

Mr Cyruszys turned to flee but slipped and fell on the ground, the judge said, at which point they pounced on him.

While Hawkins stabbed Adam Cyruszys as he lay on the floor, the two teenagers punched and kicked him, making sure he could not stand up.

The judge said Hawkins stabbed him so hard in the back that his knife blade got stuck and the handle came away in his hand.

Mr Cyruszys’ life was saved when he was taken to hospital.

Reid and the 17-year-old were each sentenced to three years in prison and told to pay a £20 victims’ surcharge each. Hawkins, of no fixed address, was ordered to pay a £120 victims’ surcharge.

Defending Hawkins, Mr De Feu said: “He is an unusual young man in that throughout this whole experience he has embraced the idea of being in custody.

“He finds a settled, happy lifestyle in prison that he can’t find in liberty, which is so sad at the age of 26.”

He said Hawkins had an unhappy and violent upbringing but said: “In prison he has made a spectacular success of things.”

The teenagers’ defence barristers painted a picture of Hawkins as the ringleader in the attack, and said their clients did not even know he had a knife that night.

But Mr Pringle said he would be failing in his duty if he did not send them to prison.

He said: “That sort of attack is utterly deplorable and has to be met with firm action.”

Mr Pringle told Hawkins he would serve at least two thirds of his 12-year sentence and then only be released if it was deemed safe.

He said he accepted that Reid, of Verney Road, Banbury, and the 17-year-old had “nothing to do with the knifing”, but said their actions were still unacceptable.

As he gave them their three years in prison each, he added: “I’ve reduced it as much as I can.”