A Bury St Edmunds man has been jailed after randomly stabbing a dog walker in the back while drunk. 

Stephen Byrne, of Hodson Close in the town, was sentenced 45 months in jail at Ipwich Crown Court last Friday.

The 54-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to stabbing a woman in her 50s while she was walking her dog down near a car park in St Olaves Road at about 10.25pm on June 14 this year.

Byrne, who was not known to the victim, approached her from behind while drunk and stabbed her in her back. 

After the incident, he immediately headed home where he called the police and admitted to the attack. 

The victim also called the police and was taken to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, where she was treated for minor injuries. 

Byrne was arrested at about 10.40pm on the same day and was taken to Bury St Edmunds police investigation centre for questioning, where he admitted he had been drinking alcohol throughout the day and was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

He was charged with and admitted possessing a knife in a public place and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

DI Stuart Dolan-Allen, of Suffolk police, said after Byrne was sentenced: "This was an unprovoked and random attack which so easily could have led to a fatal conclusion.

"The victim fortunately did not suffer serious injury, however this would have been a terrifying ordeal and the psychological impact should not be underestimated.

"Knife crime can have devastating consequences and I hope the sentencing shows that violence will not be tolerated in our communities and we will take robust action on those responsible."