A DAD-OF-FOUR who repeatedly stabbed a man in a 'savage attack' over claims he insulted his nine-year-old son is now behind bars.

David Reilly, of Cherry Sutton, Widnes, was jailed for nine years at Liverpool Crown Court today, Thursday, after pleading guilty to two counts of wounding.

The court heard how the 41-year-old plunged a kitchen knife several times into his victim Stephen O’Neill which left him bleeding profusely with life-threatening injuries on March 28.

Reilly’s 13-year-old daughter watched on in horror as the attack unfolded while her mum suffered serious injuries to her left hand as she tried to separate the two men.

Mr O’Neill was stabbed in his neck, shoulders and on the right side of his body.

Sarah Badrawy, prosecuting, said that the defendant had been in a relationship with the mother of two of his children Katie Watson.

At the time of the incident, Ms Watson and Reilly were no longer together but they had remained friends.

She had begun a relationship with Mr O’Neill but that had ended a week before the attack.

Reilly, who had a previous conviction for battery following an assault on his ex-partner, spent the evening at Ms Watson’s home on Abbey Road in Widnes, talking and drinking alcohol.

At around 10.10pm Mr O’Neill called round to see her – he was unaware that Reilly was at the property.

The two men began arguing at the door 'about comments made by Mr O’Neill to the defendant’s son who was nine at the time”.

Ms Watson had earlier told Reilly that Mr O’Neill 'had been unkind to his son calling him names'.

The argument spilled out into the street with both men exchanging punches.

The fighting ended and Reilly left the scene for a short time but when he returned a further fight broke out.

Miss Badrawy added: "At some stage during this Reilly produced a knife and began to stab Mr O’Neill to his upper body.

"He inflicted three wounds to his back and one to his right side.”

Mr O’Neill was left bleeding profusely.

He was taken into the kitchen where the defendant and Ms Watson both tried to stem the bleeding.

Reilly, who admitted to the police that he had stabbed the victim and had thrown the knife into a nearby allotment, also called for an ambulance.

In an impact statement Mr O’Neill revealed how he suffers from flashbacks and depression.

He had been due to start a new job but he was unable to take it up as the injuries have restricted his movement.

Ms Watson said she had been left feeling anxious and stressed and had been unable to return to work because of her injury.

Simon Christie, defending, said Reilly's behaviour was 'wholly out of character'.

He said: "Even at the scene Reilly had retained something of his humanity and tried to stem the bleeding and called the emergency services.

“His anger was still continuing shown by his remarks at the situation but he did his best to assist the injured Mr O’Neill."

Judge David Aubrey, QC, during sentencing, said: “During an altercation you took the deliberate decision to go into the kitchen and arm yourself with a knife.

“You perpetrated a savage and frenzied attack on Stephen O’Neill using that knife to stab him on a number of occasions causing him extremely serious injuries.”

DC Matt Charnock, from Cheshire Police, said: "The sentence handed down by the judge today reflects the seriousness of the crime Reilly committed.

“I want to thank the victims and witnesses for their bravery in coming forward and reporting the incident to police, and for their support throughout the investigation and court process.

"I hope that the successful conclusion of the case in some way helps to bring about a degree of closure for them − and helps them to move forward with their lives.

"Violent crime of any kind, including the use of knives, is not acceptable and Cheshire police are committed to tackling this type of crime - ensuring that those responsible are brought to justice and face the consequences of their actions.”