TWO brothers who carried out a "frenzied and merciless" attack on a man in Hafodyrynys last Boxing Day night, have each been jailed for 23 years.

Christopher and Simon Trigg's attack - with knives taken from a kitchen drawer at their parents' home - would undoubtedly have killed their victim Kevin Skye, said Judge Eleri Rees, had it not been for the attention he received at the scene and in hospital.

She told the brothers that the injuries they had inflicted on Mr Skye had been "life changing."

The 47-year-old suffered 21 injuries, including stab wounds to his chest and abdomen.

"This was a frenzied and merciless attack upon him," Judge Rees told Cristopher Trigg, aged 36, and his brother Simon, aged 33.

"Had it not been for the intervention of members of the crowd, you would have continued to stab Kevin Skye until he was dead."

Mr Skye, she added, had suffered considerable blood loss.

Afterwards, the Trigg brothers returned to their parents' home nearby, where they denied any involvement in the incident to their mother.

They had washed the blood from the knives and from themselves, and barricaded themselves on a bedroom.

Judge Rees told them she had no doubt they had "hurriedly concocted" a story in that room, and despite overwhelming evidence, had maintained false accounts throughout their trial.

The Trigg brothers admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Skye but had denied attempted murder.

But a jury earlier this week found them each guilty of attempted murder.

Half of their 23-year sentences will be served in prison, and half on licence.

Mr Skye's stabbing followed an altercation at a pub in Hafodyrynys involving the Trigg brothers and another man, during which Judge Rees said that CCTV footage showed Kevin Skye "acting as peacemaker."

Mr Skye was later walking home with his partner and four other people, and several groups heard the brothers "make threats to fetch knives and slit their throats", said Judge Rees.

Mr Skye's group had unknowingly walked past the Trigg brothers' parents' house.

Their mother had heard Christopher Trigg "rummaging" in the kitchen.

"There is little doubt you were selecting knives," said Judge Rees.

"You had clearly decided you should arm yourselves and seek revenge."

She added that this appeared to have been due to perceived wrongs.

"Why you chose to attack Kevin Skye is a mystery. It is possible it wad a case of mistaken identity," she said.

Jason Howells of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the defendants had made a choice to arm themselves with a kitchen knife and carry out a "vicious, sustained attack."

“Thankfully, the treatment administered by friends at the scene and the attending paramedics made a crucial difference to Mr Skye," said Mr Howells.

"That early intervention, combined with emergency surgery, saved his life.

“Gwent Police consulted the CPS early in this case, and our teamwork throughout the investigation and court process lead to an effective prosecution, which despite the denials of each defendant, resulted in the jury convicting them both.”