A MAN slashed his friend with an axe because he owed him just £10.

Bradley Buckled lashed out at Benjamin Man outside the victim's home in Bishopstoke during an argument over a “pitifully small drug debt”.

Using a hatchet, he carried on his moped, the 19-year-old sliced into his former college friend's arm.

Southampton Crown Court heard that Buckland, who was a known drug dealer, visited Mr Man’s home to collect the debt before he brandished the axe.

In attempting to shield himself from the weapon, Mr Man sustained a cut to his forearm before officers were called and Buckland arrested.

Richard Onslow, mitigating, said Buckland had the potential to turn his life around.

He urged the court to take the “brave” decision to not send Buckland to prison but give him a chance.

Buckland pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed article in public, but was convicted by a jury of unlawful wounding.

He had previously been convicted six times for 14 offences, most of an anti-social nature, and once for possessing class B drugs.

Judge Christopher Parker QC told the court Buckland had the weapon to give him a sense of “bravado” and was used for intimidation.

He said: “It was not an axe designed to do any work but one actually designed to cause injury to other people... it was very sharp.”

Judge Parker QC added: “The argument was over what was in effect a pitifully small drug debt and no doubt you wanted to be seen as someone who would not let drug debts be put up with.”

A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said: “We are dedicated to reducing the harm caused by drugs. Through Operation Fortress, our aim is to protect those who are on the periphery of the drugs trade and vulnerable to exploitation, whilst targeting those intent on bringing harm to the city.

“We’re committed to getting justice for victims of violent crime.”

Buckland, of Clarendon Road, Southampton, was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment.