A thug stabbed a man in a random attack in a series of horrifying violent acts carried out during a night out in Bolton town centre

Lewis Barton was out in the town with his friend Levi Wharmby, from Prestwich, in January last year when they picked fights at random with three different individuals who were unknown to them.

The two men left The Levels Night Club before coming across the first of their victims.

Wharmby punched him and knocked him to he ground.

Later in the evening the two came across two other men.

During this fight Barton pulled out a knife and after accidentally stabbing Wharmby stabbed one of the men in the doorway of the Elephant and Castle pub.

Wharmby went on to attack the other man despite his own injury.

Later in the evening the two came across the first man they had attacked by chance.

They attacked him again and all ended up on the floor for a short period.

Police were called and Wharmby was arrested that day and Barton was detained the following day.

Tobias Collins, prosecuting, read victim impact statements from the people who were attacked.

The man who was stabbed was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital.

He was stabbed in the lower abdomen and a CT scan showed internal bleeding.

The one from the first victim said: “This has made me angry, it was not at all provoked.”

The one from the man who was stabbed said: “I did not go out looking for trouble, I went out with my friend to have a good night.

“Walking past the area where it happened brings back flashbacks.

“I have had nightmares reliving it.”

The third victim said: “I was crying, I thought my friend was going to die.

“It made me feel like I won’t go to the town centre again.

“I am thankful my friend is still alive.”

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Barton, 21 and from Church Drive, Little Lever,  appeared in court to be sentenced after pleading guilty to wounding with intent, two common assaults and possession of a blade.

Wharmby, 22 and from Croft Avenue, Prestwich, appeared to be sentenced after admitting two common assaults and affray.

Hannah Forsyth, defending Barton, said: “While appalling it was a relatively short lived incident following which they left the area.

“He accepts it will be a custodial sentence.

“He has been remanded in custody since his arrest in Manchester, his family all live south of Birmingham.

“He has employment as a landscape gardener, he has work upon his release.”

Lewis Docking, defending Wharmby, said: “He has spent time on a curfew and there have been no breaches.”

He said the two men attacked by Wharmby “did not sustain serious injuries” and a suspended sentence would be appropriate.

Recorder Alexandra Simmonds jailed Barton for four years.

She imposed a sentence of 22 months suspended for two years on Wharmby.

She ordered him to do 150 hours of unpaid work and to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirements and to do the Choices and Change Programme.