A 20-year-old man stabbed with a kitchen knife at a lawn tennis club by a stranger feared he would die.
Cleaner Arthur Kanodereka was knifed by Thomas Mahasoh at a family birthday party in Hazelwick Avenue, Crawley, on July 7 last year.
On Thursday, Mahasoh, 41, was jailed for 11 years.
Mahasoh changed his plea midway through a trial at Lewes Crown Court, admitting two counts of grievous bodily harm after stabbing Mr Kanodereka and his friend Lincoln Kombo.
Police initially feared Mr Kombo would die after being knifed in the chest at 3.45am, however he has recovered.
Speaking yesterday, Mr Kanodereka, of Redhill, Surrey, described the moments after he was stabbed.
He said: “I was running away and then I thought, I can’t run any more.
“I thought: ‘Oh no, oh no. This man has stabbed me.
“I tried to take a breath. I wondered if I was dying.”
He was carried to an ambulance as Mahasoh, a waiter, of Stratford Road, Hockley Heath, Solihull, fled the scene.
Mr Kanodereka told how he and Mr Kombo had been enjoying a barbeque at the party when a fight erupted.
Talking about Mahasoh, he said: “He totally overreacted to an argument.
“We were like, ‘what are you doing?’ “He stabbed the top of my leg and it hit my bowel.
“I was ill for four months and in hospital for two. I could not work for a month.
“Even now I don’t know why he did it. I had never met him before.
“Lincoln was worse – even now he cannot stretch properly.”
Detective Inspector Mark Cullimore said: “Mahasoh quickly fled the scene and soon afterwards drove home to Solihull, but was later identified with the help of some brave witnesses who contacted the police.
“Thankfully both victims have recovered.
“The sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences he committed and we are very grateful for the assistance of local people particularly in the local Zimbabwean community, whose understanding was invaluable.
“They can be re-assured by the outcome that police will always take this type of incident seriously and will work to support local law-abiding people.”