Accused suffered 'emotional breakdown'

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 12:58 28/08/2014

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Murder accused Kirk Day had an emotional breakdown days before he fatally stabbed Carl Joblin, Day's former girlfriend has told the High Court at Nelson.

Kirkland John Day, 24, has denied murdering Carl Isaac Joblin, 30, at a Nile St house on August 4, last year.

Speaking on the third day of the trial yesterday, Zelia Smart said she met Day in January last year, and the two were in a relationship until the end of July last year. However, after breaking up they kept in touch and stayed at each other's homes. Smart considered herself his support person.

She said early on in the relationship she noticed Day had issues with alcohol, that he could not sleep without alcohol by his bed, and would drink wine from pump bottles through the day.

She told the court about Day's detox attempts and said he was not properly supported to do so.

She was concerned he was living at a winery while attempting to detox.

She described a night where he had a panic attack, was hyperventilating, and was pushing her away.

She said he had ended a detox "quite unwell mentally" and then went into a mental health unit, where he was detoxed, followed by five weeks in the Capri Clinic in Auckland, where Smart visited him.

She said he spoke there about his future, and told her he wanted to be a counsellor.

However, he began drinking again after he left the clinic.

After the pair broke up, Day moved into the Nile St house, which she understood his parents owned.

Smart described the days before the fatal stabbing on August 4. She said Day had had an emotional breakdown on the Friday and said he feared disappointing his parents and felt guilty about how much the Capri Clinic treatment had cost them.

Smart said there was a box of wine in his parents' room, as well as spirits in the house, which she did not think was appropriate.

Day told her he questioned reality and thought he was living in a dream.

The two had made an "action plan" for his future, and dealing with his anxiety.

On the Sunday, Smart saw Day while she was between two shifts as a waitress at waterfront bar Relish.

She visited him at the Nile St house and said he "seemed out of sorts".

She had asked Day if he had taken his anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication, the two had argued and she had left feeling angry. However, she later texted him, "please don't do anything stupid tonight".

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The next time Smart saw him was when he went to her work at about 9pm.

She said he was "very pale" and noticed there was blood on his hands.

"He was quite panicky and shaken, he came to say he loved me and to say goodbye."

Smart said Day told her he thought he had killed somebody, that he had stabbed someone in the neck about five times.

"He said he can't do this any more, he has to go and kill himself."

She said he left the restaurant and she went to search for him but was unsuccessful.

The court also heard from those who assisted Day when he had crashed his car in Whakatu Drive after he left the restaurant.

Four witnesses were called, and said Day had told them he was trying to kill himself, and that he had just stabbed someone in the neck and the blade had broken off in his hand.

He told Vanessa O'Brien he believed the person was dead. He went to take one of his pills in his car, and told her "If I had taken those four days ago none of this would have happened".

She said he was "completely lucid" while she spoke to him.

The court also heard from police who attended both scenes as well as scientists who examined the Nile St address for evidence. The trial before Justice Joseph Williams continues.

- The Nelson Mail

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