A CHESHIRE man guilty of a triple stabbing outside a nightclub has been jailed for 12 years.

Marian Minu, 34, was seen on CCTV stabbing one of his three victims twice with a knife on the high street in the early hours of March 3.

As the victim's friends tried to separate the pair, two of them also received stab wounds.

Appearing at Chester Crown Court on Thursday, May 16, Judge Simon Berkson told Minu, of Nantwich Street, Crewe, he "could have killed" his victim had the victim's friends not intervened.

Prosecuting, Jayne Morris told the court the attack had taken place outside the TNT Bar in Nantwich Street shortly after 3.30am.

One of the victims had seen Minu earlier that night and, while there had been "some sort of incident" several weeks earlier, the two shook hands on this occasion.

But there was a confrontation after the victim had left the nightclub, where he threw Minu to the ground.

Both of them were seen on CCTV initially going their separate ways but then returned to the scene three minutes later, when Minu stabbed him.

The victim lifted his top up and saw blood spurting from his abdomen, and he was taken to hospital.

He had two wounds, one to his abdomen and one to his back, both described as 'significant'.

The injuries had left him unable to work or go to the gym and spent most of his time at home.

A second victim had outstretched his arms to try and defuse the situation but sustained two cuts to the right arm, and he required eight stitches in hospital.

The injury had left him with "permanent pain" and he had lost his job, feeling less safe when going outside and had nightmares about the incident.

A third victim had received a 4cm wound.

Minu was arrested at his home and made a 'no comment' interview.

He had two previous convictions, one for a robbery committed in 2003 in his native Romania, for which he was jailed for five years, and one for a shoplifting offence in 2016 in the UK.

The court heard he had been deported in 2017 but had returned "somehow".

Defending, Robert Dudley said Minu had received a 4cm calf injury in the incident and, during a talk with probation, he had made "frank and forthcoming admissions".

He accepted his actions caused significant harm and was deeply ashamed and remorseful, and wished to apologise for his conduct.

He had an eight-year-old daughter in the UK from a previous relationship and had not been in contact with her since going into custody.

His partner was heavily pregnant and had moved to Romania.

Mr Dudley concluded Minu asked if the sentence could be kept as short as possible to allow him to return to his homeland.

Judge Berkson, sentencing Minu, said the attack was a "planned" offence.

He said: "In trying to help their friend, the two other victims were also injured with the knife, one more serious than the other.

"You could have killed him as you stabbed him hard in the street.

"You do not meet the criteria for dangerousness but this was dangerous behaviour on the high street.

"This was a repeated assault on the same victim – you were going to stab him again if not prevented by others."

Minu was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the most serious stabbing, with concurrent sentences of three years and 27 months imposed for the other stabbings, plus a 16-month concurrent sentence for possessing the knife.

He will serve half the time in prison, less the four months already served on remand, with the remaining time to be served out on licence.