Man knifed after boozy karaoke session

Last updated 17:01 13/08/2014
Young Jae Lee
HOME DETENTION: Young Jae Lee will serve eight months' home detention for stabbing his sister's friend. He will be either deported or leave New Zealand voluntarily at the end of his term. His defence of "alcohol idiosyncratic intoxication" was turned down.

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A South Korean student who knifed a man after a boozy karaoke session will be deported if he does not leave voluntarily after serving eight months of home detention.

Young Jae Lee, 25, will serve the term at an address in Avonhead, Christchurch, after which he faces a term of national military service in Korea.

Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish said she believed the military service would put more structure in Lee's life.

On January 20, 2011, Lee had been drinking heavily with his sister and her male friend.

The three were thrown out of a central city karaoke bar when Lee's sister became intoxicated and fell asleep. They went home and the sister was put to bed.

Her friend stayed in the bedroom, sitting on the floor to make sure she was all right.

Lee got a large kitchen knife and stabbed him in the top of the head. He immediately cried and apologised. The man received stitches to a large cut on his head, and had small cuts on his arm.

Judge Farish said the drinking, Lee's immaturity and probably a sense of honour contributed to the offending. He may have become enraged when he saw the male friend helping his sister, she said.

Lee had lived in New Zealand from the age of 12, studying at school and university.

He pleaded guilty part way through his second District Court trial, to a reduced charge of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, after it became evident that his proposed defence of a medical condition called "alcohol idiosyncratic intoxication" did not apply.

Defence counsel Nick Rout said Lee had not touched alcohol in the three years since the incident. He had also signed up for six weeks of alcohol rehabilitation counselling, and would also be attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

"Prison would be the wrong place for this young man. He is quite immature. He would have difficulties in prison given the cultural issues, and I think he would be a target," Rout said.

Judge Farish reduced his sentence for his good record, his age, his three years on restrictive bail conditions, his steps towards rehabilitation, and his guilty plea. He was seen as a low risk of reoffending.

Lee was shaking and crying throughout the sentencing, a repeat of the scene in court in July when he pleaded guilty and was remanded on bail for sentence.

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- The Press

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