A man has been jailed for at least 20 years for stabbing his friend in the face with a knife his victim had bought for him.

Aaron Mortimore, 28, left his friend with "terrible" wounds to his left face and ear after the attack in May 2020. The defendant had denied committing attempted murder but was convicted during a trial last year.

At the time it was heard both the defendant and his victim were residents at Maes Hafan in Ninian Road in Roath, Cardiff. The facility is for people with mental health conditions and helps provide assistance.

The pair were considered to be friends and both would go to the shops together and order takeaways. A few weeks prior to the incident Mortimore asked his friend to buy him a Stanley knife, which he did.

On May 11 last year, the day of the incident, Mortimore's victim had been under the impression that he would be paid back the £200 the defendant had borrowed from him. But instead Mortimore went into his bedroom and returned with the Stanley knife before stabbing his friend in the face and saying: "Die you dirty nonce, f**king die." It was stressed that the defendant's accusations towards his victim were not founded in truth.

During the trial Matthew Cobbe, prosecuting, told the jury: “Moments later the defendant followed [his victim] to the television room. He hesitated a moment before going back to his bedroom and then coming back again – this time with his hand in his pocket.”

In the struggle Mortimore's victim managed to push his attacker off and run upstairs, using toilet paper to stem the bleeding. He suffered a “deep laceration” to the side of his face and a 2cm and a 4cm wound to his back.

On Friday a victim personal statement read aloud in Cardiff Crown Court described how the Maes Hafan resident now checks over his shoulder when going outside. Summarising his account Mr Cobbe said: "After being stabbed like that I was really scared.

"I was scared Aaron's mates could see me through the curtains even though the curtains were closed. I was afraid of everything I did.

"I couldn't go to the back, I couldn't go to the shop. I was hoping to get Aaron's room but after it happened I wouldn't go in there.

"The court case was stressful. It was a stressful day being there and I am glad it's over."

He added: "I never want to see Aaron again. I thought he was my friend. I was lending him my money and the day he said he would give it back to me he stabbed me."

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The sentencing heard was told Mortimore's previous convictions include stabbing another person with a Stanley knife in 2012 and threatening his family with a knife in 2016.

A pre-sentence report also confirmed that Mortimore had planned his attack to cause "serious injury" but had not planned to murder him.

It was also found that Mortimore, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, knew what he was doing when attacking his friend and "knew it to be wrong".

Speaking on behalf of his client Derrick Gooden, defending, said Mortimore had been completely honest with probation officers about planning the incident and had accepted that a lengthy sentence was likely. It was also heard the defendant had "difficulty" in the outside world and felt more "comfortable behind closed doors".

Mr Gooden said: "It's just a shame that in order to help himself he has caused such an injury to someone who thought of him...as a friend."

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Judge Daniel Williams said Mortimore's actions had left his vulnerable victim with "terrible" wounds to the left side of his face "extended to and through his left ear" and to his chest.

He told the defendant: "You have no remorse. In fact you were glad you carried out the attack."

In total Mortimore, of Grant's Close, Tongwynlais, was handed a 24-year extended sentence. That includes a 20-year prison sentence of which he must serve at least two-thirds before a parole board will consider whether he can be released.

Once released Mortimore will be subjected to an extended licence period compromising of any time left from his custodial term plus a further four years.