Guilty of knife attack

18:09, Apr 02 2014

A jury has found a Blenheim man guilty of assaulting a heavily pregnant woman with a knife, assault with intent to injure, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The trial of Mark William Morris Gould, 54, lasted two days at the Blenheim District Court.

One witness told the court how Gould had picked him up on February 21 last year, and dropped him near the house of the victim of the initial attack, which occurred on December 29 2012.

He asked him to go to the house and offer the victim and her partner $1000, as well as "a few more" [thousand dollars] later, to not go to court. The offer was declined.

In an interview with police, which was played to the court, Gould said he had no knowledge of doing that, and did not want to make any comment.

Gould's lawyer, Brett Daniel-Smith told the jury there was no basis to disbelieve the witness of the attempt, because he was the only person that could "throw any light" onto that particular charge.


In his closing address, crown prosecutor Mark O'Donoghue said the fact that Gould had attempted to dissuade a witness from giving evidence was proof in itself that he was guilty of the first two offences.

A knowledge of guilt "motivated the offer of the bribe".

Gould admitted going to the woman's house on December 29 in search of $20,000 worth of cannabis, which had been stolen from his live-in carer, Sheridan Lee Tonkin.

He denied touching the victim, and said he did not have a knife when he went to the house.

Tonkin and an associate, Astra Fleur Sunbeam, also went to the house on December 29.

Tonkin has accepted a charge of assault with intent to injure, and said she was the one who assaulted the victim. Gould had not touched her, nor did he have a knife, she said.

Sunbeam had a charge of assault with intent to injure reduced to a charge of burglary, which she accepted. She was called by the crown to give evidence at the trial, and told the court on Tuesday that she had seen Gould with a knife on the day of the attack.

She had previously denied any knowledge of the knife but changed her statement this year, but a knife has not been found.

All three have been remanded on bail to appear for sentence on May 28.

The Marlborough Express