A 15-year-old schoolboy was stabbed in a branch of McDonald’s in front of terrified families after his friend threw a scrunched up bag at someone, a court has heard.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was with friends in a branch of the fast food chain in Newcastle city centre when he was stabbed by 18-year-old Anas Aboearab.
The teen, whose left lung was punctured, was then chased around the restaurant before fleeing down the street, where members of the public came to his aid.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the vicious attack on 30 May was sparked when one of the boy's friends threw a scrunched up McDonald's bag in Aboearab’s direction, prompting him to confront them.
Prosecutor Neil Pallister said: "The defendant then appears to have immediately got up and walked towards the table where (the victim) was sitting and he was seen to confront (the victim), who stands up.
"There's clearly an exchange between the two and the CCTV appears to show the defendant reaching into his sleeve and the victim is seen to throw a punch towards the defendant and a scuffle takes place between the pair.
"The defendant can then be seen lashing out at the victim while holding a knife in his right hand. The victim described the knife as perhaps a kitchen knife with a silver blade.
"He was struck with the knife and was then chased by the defendant around the downstairs area of McDonald's and the victim and his friends ran out of the McDonald's followed by the defendant and he ran after them as they ran off down Northumberland Street."
The victim made it to a nearby street where he was helped by members of the public and an ambulance was called when it was discovered that he had been stabbed, the court heard.
He had a 1cm wound on the left side of his chest towards his back with a small puncture to his lung.
In a victim impact statement, he said: "I was told at the scene my condition was critical and I was very frightened by this. I had to go without friends in the ambulance and I didn't know what was going on. Nothing like this has happened before and I was worried about my family and how they would feel."
The teen described have a panic attack on the first day he returned to school and having to go back home.
"I was not sleeping and struggling mentally and I got referred for counselling. I'm nervous when I'm out with friends and I feel unsafe and come home early.
"I've been affected a lot by being stabbed. I was in McDonald's with friends and a lot of adults were present but I was still stabbed so I'm worried about being out late."
He added: "If other young males approach I'm very worried about what might happen. I don't know how long it will be before I go back to being relaxed when I'm out of the house.
"I hate feeling like this. I should be enjoying myself and looking forward to the summer holidays, not having to start counselling."
The court heard that Aboerab had maintained he was carrying a knife to cut fruit and Kate Barnes, defending, told the court he had a "disadvantaged childhood" and hd been living independently as an asylum seeker since the age of 17 without parental support.
Aboearab, of St Peter's Road, Byker, Newcastle, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and possessing a bladed article and was sent to a young offenders institution for 32 months.
Recorder Tom Moran told him: "All too often the courts see, in circumstances similar to this, that actions such as this can easily lead to somebody losing their life. This has had a serious effect on the victim."