A man who intervened in an argument about drugs and stabbed a would-be cannabis customer has avoided further time behind bars.
Jade Harley Williamson, 39, pleaded guilty in February to a charge of unlawfully causing grievous bodily harm.
Justice Michael Elkaim sentenced the O'Connor man in the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday to 18 months in jail, but ordered that the term be served in the community by way of an intensive correction order.
The judge said that on May 30 last year, Williamson's victim got "thoroughly drunk" at a birthday party and decided while walking home to buy some cannabis.
The man went to the Charnwood home of a woman he knew to be a drug dealer, but she told him she had "amended her ways" and no longer sold weed.
The pair had an argument, with the victim believing comments the woman had made to him were racist.
Justice Elkaim said the man pushed the woman, prompting Williamson, who was the woman's partner, to arm himself with a knife and stand between them.
The man punched Williamson in the face and put him in a headlock while trying to keep the hand holding the knife as far away from himself as possible.
During a subsequent melee the judge described as including "exchanges of unpleasantries, wrestling and traded punches", the victim was stabbed in the abdomen and cut on the face.
The victim eventually ran off and lay down under a tree, where he was found by a local resident who alerted emergency services.
He spent a few days in hospital and Justice Elkaim said while there was no evidence of continuing medical issues, the man would "remain with permanent scarring".
Justice Elkaim indicated on Tuesday that Williamson, who was initially charged with intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm, had pleaded guilty to the lesser offence on the basis of excessive self-defence.
He said it was important to note that the victim was "not without fault in the events".
The court heard Williamson had been largely unemployed in recent times because of associations with "unseemly characters", but he now preferred mountain biking and fishing to hanging around with such people.
Justice Elkaim also said the 39-year-old had clearly had issues with alcohol over the years, while he had been a regular user of cannabis at times.
The judge said he accepted that Williamson had shown "genuine remorse" for his actions and taken full responsibility, noting that the 39-year-old had been acting defensively but went too far.
Williamson spent 37 days in custody on remand in relation to the stabbing, and his barrister Beth Morrisroe urged Justice Elkaim to take that into account and impose a community-based jail sentence.
The prosecution did not oppose that course, and the judge agreed it was appropriate as he put in place the intensive correction order.
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