Wall of silence over horseshoe stabbing

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 05:00 17/12/2013
ross cres stabbing
BRUCE MERCER/FAIRFAX NZ

SCENE OF VIOLENCE: The house on Ross Cres, Hamilton, where a woman was stabbed in the back yesterday.

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Across the road from the house where a woman was stabbed in the back during the night were two women sitting in the sun, drinking cans of bourbon and coke.

Monday morning hair of the dog, they said.

Their doorstep gave a clear view of the police officers standing guard at the crime scene - a taped-off property on Ross Cres in the Hamilton suburb of Fairfield.

More police were en route to conduct a forensic examination but, in the meantime, people lounged in doorways and front yards, watching.

"My street is awesome and I'd know because I've lived in this horseshoe for four years," one of the women said.

"We just walked out for a cigarette and saw the [police] tape around there," said the other.

A man, woman and children live at the house, they said, but names - theirs and their neighbours - weren't up for discussion.

Another neighbour wandered to the door and said occupants of the house were quiet and nothing was heard.

I didn't see anything, nor do I know anything, was the general message.

The "horseshoe" is rich in state housing, though it's slowly being sold off, residents said.

One side looks well cared for and the other looks less inviting.

One resident referred to the horseshoe's "good side" and "bad side". There are gang patches around.

One resident reported seeing people smoke "crack" openly outside.

Whatever went down at the house happened about 1.40am yesterday, according to police.

Acting Detective Sergeant Andrew Mortimore, of the Hamilton CIB, said ambulance staff reported the incident.

"Officers arrived to find a woman had suffered a serious stab wound to her back and she was taken to Waikato Hospital by ambulance and has subsequently been released."

Police were working to confirm the identity and location of a man believed to have been at the address at the time of the incident, he said.

Another Ross Cres resident said the couple were always rowing, drinking and smoking dope.

"You're the worst mistake of my life," was a typical refrain in those heated moments.

The resident wouldn't be named, but said a child was heard crying out in the night and the man was seen drunkenly trying to clamber through a window from a chair after being locked outside.

"All I wanted to know was that the kids were alright. There's too much alcohol - it's definitely a factor around here."

There's an effort to make Ross Cres a safer, more secure place and there is a neighbourhood watch group made up of assorted residents, the person said.

Police roll through at least once a day too.

"We've all had issues with people in our backyards," the person said.

One family has installed an electric fence around the rear of their property to keep people out.

People have also been seen wandering around their empty house, presumably looking for ways in.

"I guess it's teenagers with nothing better to do," the woman said.

"We're sick of it to be quite honest. A lot of neighbours don't like to talk and that doesn't help."

The stabbing took things to another level.

Mortimore said it highlighted the risks associated with domestic violence and anyone who felt at risk in their home should seek help.

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Financial pressures, temperatures and alcohol consumption tend to increase at this time of year, which could be "a volatile mix".

- Waikato

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