December 22 2014, updated 11:07am

'Idiosyncratic intoxication' blamed for stabbing

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 16:00 07/07/2014

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Experts will put opposing views before a jury about alcohol idiosyncratic intoxication syndrome and whether it could have led to a Christchurch man being stabbed in the head.

An expert in forensic psychiatry and a specialist psychiatrist in the field of addiction medicine will give evidence in the trial of Korean resident Young Jae Lee.

The four-day trial began before Judge Jane Farish and a jury in the Christchurch District Court today.

Lee, 25, denies alternative charges of wounding Matthew Rosanowski with intent to either injure him or cause him grievous bodily harm.

The Crown says the jury can infer that Lee intended "really serious harm" by stabbing Rosanowski in the head.

However, the defence says he was affected by Alcohol Idiosyncratic Intoxication – known as AII – which can cause violent and unexpected behaviour.

Crown prosecutor Marcus Zintl said that Lee, his sister, and Rosanowski drank Korean rice wine known as soju, which was 19.5 per cent alcohol, at a barbecue at the Lees' apartment and at a karaoke bar in the city on the evening of January 19, 2011.

The sister, Haram Lee, had met Rosanowski, they were friends and had previously dined together.

When they returned to the apartment, the brother and sister were drunk, and Rosanowski had helped Haram Lee onto her bed where she fell asleep. He sat in the bedroom for a few minutes, to make sure she was all right.

Young Jae Lee came into the room, then went out again and returned with a kitchen knife which he used to stab Rosanowski. He was stabbed twice in the top of the head and twice more on the arm when he put his hands up to defend himself.

He was taken to the emergency department at Christchurch Hospital for sutures in his wounds.

Zintl said Young Jae Lee had immediately started crying and apologised. He had apologised again next day when he and his sister met Rosanowski at a cafe in Riccarton.

Defence counsel Nick Rout said there was no dispute about what had happened. The defence case was that Lee did not have the intention to injure or wound Rosanowski.

An expert in addiction medicine would describe Alcohol Idiosyncratic Intoxication, Rout said.

"It is a condition whereby a sufferer who has consumed a relatively small amount of alcohol will do something totally unexpected or violent," Rout said.

"The reaction can be aggressive in nature. He will also describe to you the effect of a blackout on the ability to form intent, and the link between the ability to remember and the ability to form intent."

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The defence would say Young Jae Lee suffered from AII and was unable, and did not form the intent on the night to stab Rosanowski.

Rout told the jury that there would be complicated expert evidence which would be difficult to take in, but it was important they consider all of it.

Rosanowski gave his account of the incident, saying that Young Jae Lee looked angry when he returned to the bedroom with the knife, just before the stabbing.

His sister, Haram Lee, had been asleep during the incident but she had told her brother to apologise when she found out Rosanowski had been hurt.

She said she had been confused when she said in a statement to the police that her brother "was angry because Matt was at home with his sister". The statement was not accurate.

She was questioned by the Crown about earlier incidents when Young Jae Lee had drunk too much and could not remember. In one incident he had smashed an apartment window, and another time he had thrown a telephone on the floor.

She had never known him to hurt anyone when he was drunk.

The trial is continuing.


- The Press

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