A TEENAGER who stabbed a former friend in the face out of “jealousy”, leaving him with a “scar for life”, has been jailed for five years.

Connor Daniel Ezard, who can be named for the first time after reporting restrictions were lifted on Friday, used in the “vicious and cowardly” assault what has been described as “one of the largest and most frightening knives I have ever seen in this courtroom” by Her Honour Judge Susan Evans QC.

The court was told how Ezard was informed that the victim was in Popley on his way to the One Stop shop when he decided to arm himself and confront him in an alleyway.

He told the victim that he was going to stab him, and on the third attempt he used the “Rambo-style knife” to cause a “gaping wound” to his face.

Ezard was found guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm by a jury at a trial earlier this month, by a majority verdict of 10 to 1.

The 16-year-old appeared before Winchester Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, where Judge Evans QC said he “represent[s] a significant risk of committing further offences and causing serious harm”, adding that the offence was “plainly so serious that only custody can be justified”.

She continued: “It was a short incident but it didn’t take you long to do what you wanted to do. Certainly, you weren’t remorseful afterwards, you washed the knife and hid it under the sofa.

“He had to undergo emergency surgery. It was a vicious and cowardly attack by you. His mental and physical health has deteriorated. He has become reluctant to leave his home.

“He has been attacked again and has to live with that scar.”

The court was previously told that Ezard and the victim used to be friends, but that they had stopped hanging out.

Of the 16-year-old’s attack on him, the victim had told the trial: “The first time he threw it at me or threw his arm at me, I literally moved to the side and moved his arm up. The second time he has come at me I put my leg out and kicked in the chest.

“I put my leg down and he just came at me again.”

On the third attempt the victim said that the teenager “plummeted his arm at my face”.

The victim continued: “To be honest [I have] no idea, I don’t know what the issue is about, I think it is just jealousy.”

He also said in his interview that he thought Ezard was “trying to show who is the big boss”.

In mitigation, defence barrister Nicola Talbot-Hadley had said that the teenager had come from “initial trauma and violent background” which led to a number of convictions for previous violent offences, something the judge decided had “significantly aggravated” this offence.

Highlighting the progress he has made since being remanded into custody pending the outcome of these court proceedings, she added: “He has set himself up as a peer mentor, is taking responsibility for matters on his wing, he has taken on a new job and is making honest money.

“He is trying to take on all those things that he has not been able to do in his life.”

Judge Evans QC declared: “When he is in custody, Connor does really well. The trouble is when he is out.”

Ms Talbot-Headley continued: “Everything that he said suggests that he is looking forward to getting out, getting to university or a construction course, and furthering himself as an honest member of the community.

“It is hard for those in authority looking at his record to believe that. He knows he has a significant number of years in a custodial setting.

“One can’t decry from the scar on the complainant’s face. But it is a scar, and not the loss of a limb perhaps.”

Ezard, of Sark Way, Popley, was given a five year prison sentence. Judge Evans QC added that the teenager will likely serve three quarters of that sentence before being released on licence for the remainder, as well as a further two years.

Sending him to the cells at the court, the judge said: “I hope that you will continue to work whilst you are in custody.

“There is a future for you, and you can make something of your life and put this behind you.”