Memory of night of killing queried

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 12:00 30/08/2014

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"Big gaps" in a murder accused's memory were questioned by the Crown in the fifth day of a trial in 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.

Yesterday, Day was questioned by Crown lawyer Jackson Webber.

Day told the court he had been in Papanui Prison since the time of his arrest. He agreed there were "big gaps" in his recollection of the night, but insisted he had no intention to kill Joblin.

He said he had been experiencing a panic attack that night, and had taken a knife to try to get a group of visitors to leave. He said he did not remember stabbing Joblin.

Webber suggested Day's panic attack started to die down as he went into a bathroom and took deep breaths - before taking the knife. Day said he did not recall this but said it was possible.

Webber asked whether getting a knife was inconsistent with a panic attack, and was "more consistent" with him being angry about events of the night, including a lit cigarette in his home after he had told the group not to smoke inside, and then his guitar being broken.

Webber suggested Day wanted to "intimidate" the group to get them to leave.

He questioned Day's inability to remember events of the night, and that Day knew the implications stabbing someone had.

Day said he wished he could recall what had happened through the night and said he had thought about the events of the day since it happened.

Day's parents Amanda and Gregory Day were also called yesterday to tell the court about his history of panic attacks, which they said began when he was 9.

Measures they took to comfort him when he had one were usually unacknowledged because he "appears to go into himself" and could not comprehend anything apart from what was happening to him", Amanda Day said.

She said he concealed how much he drank. She said she had daily contact with her son leading up to August 4, and was not aware he was drinking again.

On the Saturday, August 3, she saw Day and said he "looked fine" and was talking about his future.

Psychiatrist Dr Phillip Brinded provided expert evidence for the defence. He said Day had shown alcohol and substance dependency, self-harm, depression and anxiety attacks. He said Day's drinking and the blackouts it caused "very likely" impaired him from forming memories.

Brinded also said during a panic attack a person would often be preoccupied with their own feelings and thoughts and this might increase when drunk. He said it was possible a panic attack could impair recall.

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"In this case there are a number of issues which might impair Mr Day's memory."

It is expected there will be one more expert witness for the Crown on Monday.

The trial, before Justice Joseph Williams, continues.

- The Nelson Mail

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