LIVERPUDLIANS who stabbed an "entirely innocent man" over a suspected drug deal gone wrong have been jailed.

Anthony Bennett urged his friend David Foster to knife Jack Riggs in Lydford Road, Bournemouth on December 4 last year.

Bennett and Foster had been waiting for the victim's stepbrother, but targeted Mr Riggs instead.

Both appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court for sentence on Friday after admitting a charge of wounding with intent.

It was heard that Mr Riggs lived with his father and stepbrother. At 8pm on the day of the knifing, there was a knock at the door, and Mr Riggs's father opened it to find two men on his doorstep.

One demanded to know where the victim's stepbrother was.

They were told to "go away", and as they left, one threatened to burn the house down.

Later that night, Mr Riggs left the house and was walking along the pavement when the two men - Bennett, 23 and of Oriel Crescent, Kirkdale, Liverpool, and Foster, 21 and of Fourth Avenue, Liverpool - stepped in front of him.

They asked for the victim's stepbrother again, and Mr Riggs told them he didn't know where he was.

Bennett then urged Foster: "Stab him."

Foster lunged for Mr Riggs, stabbing the victim's right arm. Mr Riggs, who did not see a weapon during the attack, ran home, with Foster briefly in pursuit.

When he arrived at the house, he realised he was bleeding heavily, and an ambulance was called. His wounds were not serious, it was heard.

Police arrested Bennett and Foster while executing a warrant in Turnbull Lane, Bournemouth, at around 2pm on December 6.

Both were identified by the victim.

The court heard Mr Riggs's stepbrother had been involved in drug use. However, neither of the defendants have given an explanation of why they visited the house or stabbed the victim.

Detective Constable Holly Sexton, of Bournemouth CID, said: “This was a violent attack with a weapon that left the victim with a nasty injury and it is fortunate that it was not even more serious.

“I hope the sentence imposed by the court sends out a message that this kind of violent behaviour will be taken very seriously and offenders will be brought to justice.”

Bennett was sentenced to four years and five months in prison and Foster was sentenced to four years and eight months.