A Wollongong warehouse worker who stabbed a love rival in the stomach, leaving him with life-threatening injuries, has been sentenced to 20 months behind bars.
Jarrad Drayton, 19, and Aiden Lewis, 18, agreed to meet in Court Lane behind Wesley Uniting Church on the afternoon of September 23 last year so they could sort out their dispute following a heated text message exchange earlier in the day over a woman.
Lewis later told police he believed the pair were meeting for a "one-on-one fist fight".
However, Drayton produced a knife with a 20cm blade and stabbed Lewis in the stomach, penetrating three vital organs and causing significant internal bleeding.
Lewis underwent emergency surgery at Wollongong Hospital and was in intensive care until discharging himself from hospital a week later against medical advice.
Drayton was arrested and remanded in custody until he was released on bail in April after arguing his asthma put him at greater risk of infection if COVID-19 became widespread in NSW jails.
Drayton subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.
In a sentencing hearing in Wollongong District Court on Friday, Judge John Hatzistergos noted Drayton's actions in taking the knife to the fight had involved a level of planning, but also accepted he had acted "impulsively, in emotionally charged circumstances".
He also cited psychological and background reports detailing Drayton's significant traumatic childhood, which had been marred by witnessing domestic violence between his parents.
"I accept the offender's upbringing, exposure to trauma, history of ADHD....diminishes his moral culpability somewhat," Judge Hatzistergos said.
"I accept that background has led to a situation where in his mind, resorting to violence in the situation he faced was seen as a normal means of resolving differences.
"His prospects of rehabilitation in my view is somewhat guarded, but I wouldn't describe the situation as one without hope."
He sentenced Drayton to an overall jail term of three years and set a non-parole period of 20 months.
Taking into account the time Drayton served on remand, he will be released to parole in October next year.