A TRAUMATISED former soldier from Carlisle who admitted stabbing his brother was jailed for 26 months - by a Carlisle Crown Court judge who conducted the hearing over his iPhone.

Judge Nicholas Barker made what was probably legal history during the Skype court hearing yesterday, resorting to his iPhone when technological problems conspired to prevent him from using his laptop as has been the usual practice during the lockdown court hearings.

The court heard how victim Matthew Ryan suffered a “puncture” wound to one of his lungs, an injury which a medical expert said could have been “catastrophic and life-threatening”. Andrew Ryan, 41, of Millholme Avenue, Currock, admitted wounding.

The attack came to light on December 13 last year after a Millholme Avenue resident found Matthew Ryan outside his home, shouting that he had been stabbed and needed help.

The victim said he had been encouraging his brother - who had been drinking - to go to a reunion with former colleagues but an argument broke out. It was during this that Andrew Ryan grabbed a kitchen knife and attacked his brother.

Matthew Ryan suffered a cut hand as he tried to defend himself, as well as knife wounds to his chest and back. When challenged, rather than helping his injured brother, the defendant just swore at him.

Matthew Ryan suffered a 2cm wound to his chest, the blade having penetrated his chest cavity and slightly punctured his lung. A medical expert said that if the knife had gone any deeper, the resulting wound could have been life-threatening.

Brendan Burke, for Ryan, said the defendant had suffered trauma during his military service and had a dependency on alcohol. Noting the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder, Judge Nicholas Barker told the defendant: “It’s perhaps simply worth noting that the medical evidence demonstrates that only a small amount of additional force or a small alteration in the wound, would have led to a catastrophic injury, potentially life-threatening; and your actions.”

His actions - including leaving your brother without help at that point - could easily have led to his death, said the judge. Judge Barker jailed Andrew Ryan, who has a history of violence, for 26 months.

The court heard that the defendant has 39 offences on his record, dating back to 2005 when he was given a lengthy jail term for serious violence.

As he started the hearing yesterday, Judge Barker said: “I’m doing [the hearing by iPhone - the wonders of modern technology. Apologies for the delay: there have been technological difficulties this morning.”