An extremely vulnerable teenager with learning difficulties was stabbed in the stomach on a night out.

Theodore Green has a number of disabilities, atypical autism, severe ADHD, pragmatic language disorder, high anxiety and sensory issues.

He moved to Southport from Hereford in July this year, after his parents found him a place at a special needs college.

But just six weeks or so later, the 18-year-old student was knifed on a night out by drunken dad-of-two Callum Cunliffe, 19.

As a result he needed to have 10cm of his small bowel removed and a total of 57 staples were used to close his wounds.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Mr Green had gone to Retro Bar in West Street with friends and was stood outside afterwards, at around 6am, on August 29.

Natalia Cornwall, prosecuting, said CCTV footage showed an argument between two women - one of whom was Cunliffe's girlfriend's sister - over an alleged stolen handbag.

Both Mr Green and Cunliffe tried to split up the row and the women were separated, but Cunliffe's girlfriend's sister, in a grey tracksuit, returned.

She repeatedly pushed a man and Mr Green and Cunliffe intervened again, but the two men ended up in a "dispute about something".

Mr Green swung a punch at Cunliffe, who pushed him, then pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim twice in the stomach.

Cunliffe, of Loxley Road, Southport, ditched the blade down a drain outside the bar and kicked out at police when arrested.

Retro Bar, West Street, Southport

Mr Green was shown sitting up against a wall, as people held paper towels against his wounds to stem the blood.

He was taken by ambulance to Aintree hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair a 3cm deep wound.

Ms Cornwall said: "He said the incident left him crying a lot and he had tried to emotionally regulate, but it had been challenging for him."

When interviewed by police, Cunliffe said he hadn't drunk for around 18 months and claimed he had punched - not stabbed - his victim, after Mr Green said something that angered him, which he couldn't remember.

Ms Cornwall said: "He said he didn't believe Theodore Green had even been stabbed."

He accepted putting something down the drain but denied it was a knife and insisted the weapon recovered wasn't his, before he confessed that he had taken a knife out with him, but argued it wasn't the one found.

Cunliffe, who has no previous convictions, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possessing a knife in public.

He cried in the dock as a statement from Mr Green's mum was read out, in which she outlined the effects on her son, who has a care plan in place until he is 25, when it is hoped he will be able to live semi-independently.

She said multiple agencies were involved in finding him a college that met his needs, but her "soft, gorgeous" and "kindhearted" young son had since left Merseyside.

The mum questioned what example Cunliffe was setting to his own children and asked: "Why does Callum as a father himself think it's acceptable to carry a knife and carry out such a hideous crime?"

Stuart Nolan, defending, said his client wanted to "reassert his regret", had been hit by "the enormity of what he's done" and expressed "considerable remorse".

Judge David Aubrey, QC, said he noted Cunliffe was "considerably distressed" during the reading of the victim statement, adding: "So I have no doubt whatsoever that he is extremely remorseful."

Mr Nolan said it was a "terrible and depressing duty" for the court to have to sentence someone "with a young life blighted, who has blighted somebody else's life".

He said Cunliffe had two young boys, aged one and four, and while unemployed, had worked as a scaffolder and labourer, and in hospitality.

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Mr Nolan said it was "depressing" to see his client had acted as a "peacemaker" before behaving "entirely out of character".

Judge Aubrey also asked why Cunliffe thought it was acceptable to carry a knife with him to a nightclub.

Mr Nolan said: "His account is that it was given to him whilst in the club. I don't think that helps him."

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Judge Aubrey told Cunliffe: "Two young lives have been blighted."

He said Mr Green was "an extremely vulnerable young man", but accepted Cunliffe wasn't aware of this when he attacked him.

However, he said the victim now had to cope with physical and psychological issues, set out by his mum in a "poignant" statement.

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Judge Aubrey said: "Families' lives have been blighted. One only has to listen, intently as you did as I say, to the victim's mother's personal statement, and you have two young children, aged one and four.

"Their lives are blighted. And no one can turn the clock back."

The judge accepted both men acted as "pacifists" initially, but said Cunliffe stabbed his victim "when the red mist descended".

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He said it didn't matter why Cunliffe had the knife, adding: "You retrieved it from your pocket and you stabbed him in the stomach.

"A fatality could have occurred. If it had, you would now be before the court for an offence of murder. That is how serious this case is."

He sentenced Cunliffe to six years in a young offenders institution.