Accused says victim stabbed himself

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 13:54 10/02/2014
Juliette Gerbers
JOHN COWPLAND
JULIETTE GERBES: Defending manslaughter charge.

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A woman stabbed her boyfriend after he threatened to find another woman to sleep with, a jury has been told.

Several hours of emergency surgery could not save Christopher Jones, 22, who died from the stab wounds to his stomach on October 13 2012.

Juliette Anne Gerbes, 21, denies plunging a large kitchen knife into Jones. She claims Jones grabbed the knife during an argument and pulled the blade into himself, the High Court at Napier heard today.

Gerbes is defending a charge of manslaughter.

Crown prosecutor Clayton Walker said minor violence peppered Gerbes and Jones' relationship of about 15 months but it reached its lowest point on October 12.

The day had started with the couple arguing over the Playstation, Walker said. Gerbes threw a glass of water over Jones before leaving to go to work.

They continued bickering that evening but things settled down while out drinking at a party. After arriving home at their Hastings flat, Gerbes rebuffed Jones's sexual advances, the court heard.

That upset Jones who said he would go down to the local bar and find a woman that would sleep with him. Gerbes slapped him. The couple scuffled backwards and forwards before Jones left.

Gerbes believed he had gone to the nearby bar and got up to lock the doors. When she found Jones still in the house she tried to push him outside but he pushed back and backed her into a corner. She then picked up a knife from the bench, Walker said.

Gerbes told police Jones had grabbed the knife and pulled it into himself. A flatmate roused by the noise, said Gerbes ran from the room saying "I'm sick of this shit", Walker said.

Jones was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital where he died from his injuries later that morning.

Lawyer Eric Forster said Gerbes acted in self defence because she feared being attacked by Jones. She brandished the knife to try and stop the attack but Jones grabbed the knife. People are entitled to use reasonable force in self defence, Forster said.

The trial is expected to finish on Thursday.

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