A friendship among two Greek Australians was shattered when one of them attacked the other with a knife according to a report in The Age on Tuesday.

The victim Steven Papathanasiou, 35, ended up in a wheel chair as a result of the attack by Arthur Spanos.

The Melbourne judge Mark Gamble called Mr Spanos’ conduct as savage and cowardly and sentenced him to 8 years in prison; to serve a minimum of 6 years and three months.

Mr Spanos pleaded guilty to one charge of intentionally causing serious injury on September 21 2007. During court proceedings it was established that Mr Papathanasiou had an intermittent intimate relationship with Mr Spanos’ sister.

At the day of the attack Mr Papathanasiou had apparently assaulted the woman after an argument.

The court heard that this served as the motive for Mr Spanos to arm himself with a sharp object with which he stabbed the victim “with extreme force” wounding him at his spinal cord, chest and thighs.

Mr Papathanasiou spoke at the court about his anger, frustration and fear after the incident. “I simply cannot find all the words to explain to you my frustration and to convey to you the constant battles that I face every day,” he is quoted as saying in The Age report.

According to a psychologist’s assessment Mr Spanos suffered from a chronic adjustment disorder which debilitated his perception, judgement and reasoning but at the same time he had been contrite about his actions.

Mr Spanos had 52 convictions in 10 separate legal cases brought against him in the past, yet none for violence.

The judge, however, said his violent outbreak to what he deemed as “outrageous” behaviour by Mr Papathanasiou towards his sister did not diminish his moral culpability.