Natasha Rudra June 14, 2012
A man who drunkenly stabbed his then-girlfriend during a jealous fit in 2010 has been described as a “damaged man” whose life was overshadowed by drug and alcohol issues.
But the ACT Supreme Court has also heard the man had prior convictions for assault in 2002 and another drunken stabbing in 2006.
The man was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after a jury trial in February.
But he was acquitted of more serious charges of intentionally wounding his girlfriend and her housemate and assaulting the housemate.
During the trial the court heard evidence of bizarre behaviour including the man being beaten with a didgeridoo and the female victim masturbating in an ambulance on the way to hospital.
The man cannot be named because of a suppression order on the victim’s identity.
At a sentencing hearing this morning, defence barrister Anthony Hopkins told the court that his client maintained he had observed his girlfriend and her housemate having sex and only stabbed the woman in self-defence after he was attacked by the pair.
He accepted the charge for which he had been found guilty but had never intended to hurt his partner.
The decision to grab a knife from the kitchen was described as a “spur of the moment decision in a rapidly evolving situation”.
The court heard the 33-year-old man had a difficult childhood and was raised in country NSW where he was the target of racist bullying.
He began taking drugs and drinking at the age of 11 and moved out of home at 12 before becoming homeless for six years.
Mr Hopkins argued the man should be given weekend jail and a long period of court-ordered supervision.
But Crown prosecutor Anthony Williamson said the man had showed little remorse for his actions and did not appear to accept the jury’s verdict.
He said the man’s prior history, which showed he had stabbed and attacked people while drunk, did not allow scope for leniency and no other sentence but imprisonment was appropriate.