A TEENAGER from Melksham has been spared custody again despite stabbing another young person with a knife.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, attacked the victim multiple times during an evening in March 2016.

The Appeal Court, in London, also heard how the teenager had attacked someone else with a golf club prior to the knife attack.

The Melksham teenager was sentenced to an 18-month youth rehabilitation order in January at Swindon Crown Court.

He pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, battery, three counts of criminal damage and possessing an offensive weapon.

The sentencing judge said he was not imposing a custodial sentence because the teenager had already spent time behind bars on remand and was making good progress.

Robert Buckland QC, the solicitor general, argued the sentence was unduly lenient and that the teenager should have been put in jail.

Lord Justice David agreed that the sentence was too lenient but refused to jail the teen due to the steps he was taking to turning his life around.

The judge, sitting with Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb and Judge Julian Goose QC, heard that the teenager had gone out with two others, all armed with golf clubs, and attacked a man and vandalised his van.

Later on the same night, the trio met a former schoolmate who the teenager stabbed in the back, causing a one-and-a-half centimetre wound which just missed his spine and kidney.

His lawyers claimed that the teen had a learning disability and was someone who could be easily led and was now living away from the area and the negative influence of his peer group.

Lord Justice Davis said the teenager should have been put behind bars for three years.

"The course adopted was unusual and unsatisfactory," he added.

"He had committed six offences and used two weapons, a golf club and a knife.

"He was part of a group and at least one other member of that group had a knife.

"The stabbing offence predictably had an ongoing effect on the victim."

The judge continued to say that the teenager was only 16 at the time and showed that he felt remorseful for his actions, showing he didn’t have a history of violent offending.

“The stabbing could have been very serious indeed, possibly even fatal,” the judge said.

“This offence was so serious, involving as it did the deliberate stabbing with a knife that the judge was simply wrong to impose the sentence he did.

"Understandably, the victim feels strongly about what happened that night.

"His strongly held view is that the offender was trying to kill him. He feels understandably bitter about the way the offender acted that night.

"But this young man does seem to have turned his life around.

"We have found this case very difficult. It is of the very greatest importance that this offender was only 16 at the time.

"We regard this as a very exceptional case.

"Whilst we regard this sentence as unduly lenient, it would serve no purpose too send this young man back to custody."