A thug who stabbed an innocent man in a Whitstable pub is starting a six-year prison sentence.
Jonathan Lawlor knifed Robert Farmer at the St Albert in Sea Street last year.
He was arrested after Mr Farmer spotted his attacker in a pub at Herne Hill between Canterbury and Faversham and took the registration number of his car down to give to police.
Lawlor, 37, admitted wounding with intent, attempted wounding and possessing a knife.
Canterbury Crown Court heard that the assault took place on the evening of Friday, September 29.
Lawlor was in the pub with his partner when Mr Farmer, 34, walked in with friends.
Investigating officer Det Con Steve East said: “Lawlor was captured on the pub’s CCTV producing a folding knife from his coat pocket, opening and closing it and then re-concealing it.
“No arguments or disagreements took place between the victim’s group of friends and the defendant.
“But when a member of staff asked Lawlor to leave he launched an unprovoked attack on the victim, striking him with the knife under his right armpit.” Mr Farmer initially believed he had been punched, but then realised he was bleeding.
It was six days later that the victim saw his attacker and alerted police.
Det Con East added: “This incident could have been far more serious as the blow would have struck the centre of the victim’s chest had he not turned away when Lawlor threw a fist at him, a fist that contained a knife with the blade exposed.
“Violent crime is never acceptable and the fact that this was a completely unprovoked attack makes it all the more serious. I hope that Lawlor’s lengthy prison sentence will give him time to reflect on his actions.”
Lawlor, from Biggin Hill in Bromley, has 29 previous convictions including wounding and robbery. He will serve an extended three years on licence and cannot be released until he has served four years of his sentence.