Street abuse led to double stabbing

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 15:51 05/08/2014

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Abuse yelled from a passing van and "the fingers" being given in reply led to two men being stabbed in Christchurch.

The confrontation, which put the two victims in hospital for six days, has led to guilty pleas in the Christchurch District Court.

Kyle Kenryo Barraclough, 20, admitted two charges shortly before his jury trial was due to start.

He had originally faced two charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and unlawful possession of a knife.

But after discussions with the Crown today, he pleaded guilty to one charge of wounding with intent to injure, one charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and the knife possession charge was withdrawn.

Judge Raoul Neave remanded Barraclough on bail to October 29 for sentencing, and asked for a pre-sentence report to assess his suitability for home or community detention.

The judge read him a first-strike warning under the system which imposes heavier penalties on repeat violent offenders, but he said he believed the warning was "utterly pointless" for Barraclough, a first-time offender.

Barraclough was arrested after the incident on November 15 and originally pleaded not guilty.

The case had been set for trial this week until Judge Neave told the jury panel the issue had been resolved by "common sense and goodwill" with guilty pleas to appropriate charges.

He thanked Crown prosecutor Deirdre Elsmore and defence counsel Andrew Bailey for the "very sensible resolution".

Police said Barraclough had gone to Merivale with a friend, and had taken a folding knife with an 11-centimetre blade.

As the pair walked home about 1am along Papanui Rd, a passing van yelled abuse at them. Barraclough and his friend yelled back and gave "the fingers".

There were six men in the van, and they had been drinking in the city.

They stopped the van just around the corner in Murray Pl. They approached the pair intending to confront them about "the fingers".

Police said the group claimed they did not intend violence but Barraclough's friend was punched behind the ear. He ran away towards McDonalds.

Barraclough drew his knife and stabbed one of the men in the chest. He had to pull hard to get the knife out.

Another member of the group pulled Barraclough away from his friend. Barraclough stabbed this second man six times in the abdomen.

The second victim pushed him away, found he had been stabbed, and chased Barraclough towards Merivale before giving up and returning to the van.

Barraclough hid near McDonalds. The van parked nearby to wait for an ambulance to arrive.

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Police found Barraclough hiding nearby, with the blood-stained knife in his pocket.

The stabbing affected the first victim's lung. Both men spent six days in hospital after surgery and were left with lengthy scars. They were off work for two months.

Barraclough admitted the stabbings during a police interview.

When asked why he had taken the knife out with him, he said: "Because Christchurch is a dangerous place."

- The Press

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