A BABY-FACED knife thug who left another teen with his internal organs hanging out after stabbing him has avoided a custodial sentence.

The 17-year-old yob, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was just 15 when he plunged a blade into Stephan Downey outside a Post Office in Cross Arthurlie Street, Barrhead.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard the attacker was part of a gang which had been terrorising his neighbourhood.

Mr Downey, 18, ended up in a high dependency unit after being treated for his injuries, which included two puncture wounds and a cut on his small bowel.

READ MORE: Stab victim’s internal organs left ‘hanging out’ after brutal attack in Barrhead

The attack took place one night in October 2017 as Mr Downey and a friend passed the youngster and a crowd of other youths.

Procurator fiscal depute Keri Marshall told the court: “The witness Downey stopped and questioned the accused about an alleged previous incident which happened on a train a month before.

“The accused denied being involved in the incident and laughed at the witness.

“Mr Downey then became involved in a heated argument with the accused and, during the heated argument, the accused stepped forwards towards the witness Downey, pulled his right hand from his jacket pocket and struck the witness to the stomach area.”

The court heard Mr Downey initially believed he had been punched and started to walk away but then noticed his attacker had a knife.

Miss Marshall added: “On closer inspection, Mr Downey realised he had been stabbed in the lower stomach.

“It appeared some of his internal organs were protruding from the wound.”

Sheriff Tom McCartney continued the case and the youngster returned to the dock yesterday.

Defence solicitor Melissa Rutherford said: “There seems to have been quite a number of issues for him at that time. 

"He has made a number of changes since.”

After hearing the youngster had secured an apprenticeship, was due to complete it in July and hoped to be kept on, Sheriff McCartney opted to let him go. 

As he placed him on a Community Payback Order and Restriction of Liberty Order, he said: “An assault with a knife is one where a sentence of detention has to be expected.

“Exceptionally, I have decided an alternative to that is appropriate in this case.”

He will be supervised for three years by social workers, complete 240 hours of unpaid work in the next year and remain in his home between 7pm and 7am every night for the next eight months.