Stabbing ends 10-year friendship

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:59 12/02/2014

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Two Palmerston North men ruined their 10-year friendship with one fight, which ended with one stabbing the other in the shoulder, a court has heard.

But while one of the men says he was acting in self defence, the other claims the stabbing showed serious intent to injure him.

Anthony William Johnston, 51, is on trial in the Palmerston North District Court charged with wounding with intent to injure.

The trial opened yesterday, with Crown prosecutor Daniel Flinn outlining what took place between Johnston and his former friend.

The two were at Johnston's house on March 9, 2012, to watch a game of cricket. Other people were there, including children, and were having a good time.

But things took a turn for the worse when Johnston got a phone call from his ex-partner. During the conversation, his friend started yelling rude comments about her.

That caused Johnston to become upset and angry, and he started to argue with his friend. The argument escalated and the verbal fight soon turned physical.

Johnston ended up throwing a beer bottle at his friend, who went to leave the property.

Johnston went to the kitchen and armed himself with a large knife, before going back outside to where his friend was in a car.

His friend drove the car towards him, and he responded by stabbing the bonnet of the car with the knife.

The friend backed up before again driving forward. Johnston responded by going to the driver's side window and stabbing the man in the shoulder.

The man then left, and he eventually went to hospital for treatment on the shoulder wound.

Flinn said Johnston did not act in self defence, and had gone out with the knife intending to hurt the man.

Thirty witnesses would be called - some giving evidence in written statements to save time - to prove that was the case, he said.

Defence lawyer Tony Thackery said there was no argument about the events leading up to the stabbing and the stabbing itself. However, Johnston believed he was acting in self defence as he was being threatened by the man driving the car at him.

"There was a pattern of behaviour from the complainant that formed a murderous intent, and that has frightened Johnston."

Johnston was not satisfied with the police's handling of the case, so he hired a private investigator, Thackery said.

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- Manawatu Standard

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