A MAN stabbed his brother in the back with a kitchen knife as the victim tried to defend their mother, York Crown Court heard.

Rob Galley, prosecuting, said Benjamin Michael Sheard lashed out at his mother when she saw him with cigarettes he had taken from her handbag and her purse.

Sheard's brother called out: "Stop, you are making Mum cry" and grabbed him in a bear hug.

Sheard grabbed a knife that had fallen out of a knife rack and stabbed him in the back.

"I still cannot believe I was stabbed by my own brother," he wrote in a personal statement.

"I don't want to see him for at least five years."

Sheard's anti-social behaviour had made it difficult to live with him for some time and their mother had had to take her handbag with her around the house to stop him stealing from it, the brother wrote.

Sean Smith, for Sheard, said he had had mental health problems for a considerable time which had not been treated.

He had had difficulty coping with a family tragedy and when he drank his behaviour become unacceptable.

He intended to seek treatment on his release for his alcohol problem and his mental health issues.

Jailing Sheard for 28 months, Recorder Simon Jackson QC said it was a "very serious and nasty attack" and he had to pass a prison sentence.

Four or five centimetres of the knife blade were bloodstained after the attack and Sheard had been drinking alcohol.

Sheard, formerly of a street off Hull Road and now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to wounding his brother and assaulting his mother.

Mr Galley said the mother managed to get out of the house while the brother was tackling Sheard.

The brother was taken to hospital where doctors dealt with the wound.

In his statement, the brother said it had affected him physically.

Members of the Sheard family were in court for the hearing and the judge praised the way they had conducted themselves.