A JEALOUS waiter has been jailed for stabbing his best friend in the back after seeing him dancing with his partner.
Christopher Gouveia slapped his girlfriend Alexandra Souza and left her with a bloody nose and then attacked victim Bruno Mateus with a kitchen knife when he went to her aid.
Portuguese waiter Gouveia was very drunk after sinking two bottles of Sambuca and one of whisky during a pre-Christmas binge at his friend’s home in Okehampton.
He sunk into a stupor and flew into a rage when he woke to find Mr Mateus and Miss Souza dancing together, Exeter Crown Court was told.
He slapped Miss Souza, took her home to the flat in the nearby Arcade and then hit her again, causing a nosebleed. She rang Mr Mateus who came over with other friends and the stabbing then followed.
Gouveia, 24, of The Arcade, Fore Street, Okehampton, admitted wounding Mr Mateus, having a kitchen knife as a weapon, and assault by battery on Miss Souza.
He was jailed for 12 months by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, who told him: "You accept you caused three wounds through recklessness when you were carrying this knife and used it in the course of a struggle.
“I take into account you were drunk and have no previous convictions but this was a serious offence. You had used violence on your girlfriend causing her a nosebleed and Mr Mateus came to challenge you about that assault.
“When he left the flat you took the kitchen knife and in the struggle he was stabbed in the back, one of the wounds being three centimetres deep.
“You told the probation officer you stabbed him because you felt trapped and panicked. In view of the fact that you used the knife and stabbed him three times it would not be right to suspend this sentence.”
Miss Emily Pitts, prosecuting, said the attack happened just over a week before Christmas when Gouveia spent the evening drinking so heavily that the others had never seen him so drunk before.
He took exception to the way Mr Mateus was dancing with his girlfriend, who he slapped before taking home, where he slapped her again, causing a nosebleed.
She rang her friends for help and when they came round there was a confrontation in the Arcade between Gouveia and the victim.
She said: "He ran down the staircase, which was a considerable distance, towards Mr Mateus and they came together. The defendant was very angry and pushed him against the window of a café.
“He was asked to clam down but was heard to say he was going to kill Mr Mateus who then felt what he thought were punches in his back. He punched Gouveia twice in the face but then realised he was bleeding from his back.”
Gouveia told police he had taken two litre bottles of Sambuca and one of whisky to the party and fell asleep while watching football and woke to find Mr Mateus and Miss Souza dancing very close.
He said he later grabbed the knife for protection because Mr Mateus is much bigger than him and had used it without realising what he was doing.
Mr Nick Bradley, defending, said Gouveia had come to Britain a few months earlier in search of a better life and that he risked losing his job and accommodation if sent to jail.