A serial offender who knifed a man on a Southampton doorstep has been jailed for more than three years.

The city crown court heard that victim Paul Lacey could have died if he had not received hospital treatment.

The drama happened following an earlier “incident” between Mr Lacey, who had been drinking that evening, and his cousin, Jade Morris.

The court heard that when Mr Lacey went to Ms Morris’s home, Michael Purkiss opened the door, hit him in the face and punched him in the stomach.

Prosecutor Chris Stopa said: “As he left, he was surprised by the level of pain when he was struck in the stomach, and it turned out the blow was caused by a knife.”

A doctor who treated him said the wound could have been been fatal if it had been unattended. Purkiss, 24, of Parry Road, Southampton, admitted wounding and was jailed for 40 months.

The court heard he had 23 previous convictions, including causing actual bodily harm and possessing a bladed article, and at the time of the stabbing was on bail for using threatening words or behaviour.

In mitigation, Claire Wiggett said Purkiss, who had built up two businesses, was realistic about his sentence. “When he opened the door to Mr Lacey, he feared a confrontation.

“He had armed himself with the knife, not to immediately use it but to use it if necessary.

“It was a single blow and it was not pursued.”