A Rotorua teenager who stabbed a man who intervened as he beat up a woman, has been jailed for nearly four years.

Liam Dean Adlam, 19, was sentenced to three years 10 months when he appeared in Rotorua District Court this week after pleading guilty last month to a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, the Rotorua Daily Post reported.

Adlam and his girlfriend got into an argument at a party on November 21 last year, and he tried to pull her from a car before punching her in the chest.

A woman who saw the incident was punched in the face when she tried to intervene. Her partner stepped in and punched Adlam three times to the head to get him away.

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As the men struggled, Adlam pulled a knife from his pocket and stabbed his assailant in the abdomen and twice in the back near the upper shoulder area.

The man only realised he had been stabbed when he felt his insides protruding from his abdomen.

Adlam was still screaming abuse as he was led away and continued as he was driven away, yelling a Mongrel Mob gang slogan.

He was found by police a short time later, asleep in his driveway with the knife in his hand and a hammer under his body.

He could not remember what had happened.

The victim's intestine was pierced in five places, with the knife narrowly missing blood vessels. He spent five days in Rotorua Hospital and was off work for six weeks.

Judge Phillip Cooper said there was the potential for more serious injuries and even death.

- NZPA