The incident happened in Vienna’s Praterstern last September when two Algerian asylum seekers had gone to the aid of a woman with a rottweiler dog who had approached the two Serbian men and started arguing with them.
After one of them slapped her, the two Algerians tried to seize the men. One of them - a 37-year-old - was stabbed, including in the eye and chest, and died in hospital the next day. His 35-year-old friend was also stabbed but survived after several hours of emergency surgery.
In court yesterday the 40-year-old defendant, who came to Austria illegally to work, said he had not meant to hurt anyone and the incident happened “because of stupidity."
“I did not want to stab them. I didn’t want to hurt anybody,” he told the court.
Despite prosecutors arguing that stabbing someone in the eye and chest is attempted murder, the defendant faced the charge of intentional aggravated assault rather than murder or attempted murder.
He faced up to 10 years behind bars but was sentenced for six due to the fact he handed himself in to police in Serbia after initially going on the run.