Two long-term adversaries visiting Taranaki Base Hospital both ended up needing emergency treatment when the two fought, leaving one with a stab wound and the other with a broken nose.
Sickness beneficiary Nicholas Stanley Orr, 46, was sentenced in the New Plymouth District Court for injuring Jason Apiata with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm at the hospital on December 19, 2011.
Both men independently arrived at the hospital emergency department about midday, Apiata to get medical attention.
In sentencing Orr, who had earlier pleaded guilty, Judge Allan Roberts permitted him a community-based sentence allowing for the fact that Apiata had continued to provoke him on the day.
Judge Roberts described the victim as "a bad egg".
The scrap began when the two men, who had a longstanding history of discord, began to argue.
Orr had initially tried to walk away but Apiata followed him, continually berating and challenging Orr.
The two began to fight and Orr stabbed Apiata in the left side of his abdomen with a small-bladed knife. Apiata, not realising he had been stabbed, continued to hassle Orr, kicking him in the leg as he walked away.
But realising he was bleeding, Apiata sought treatment from emergency department staff and underwent emergency exploratory surgery.
It was fortunate that the one centimetre-wide wound pierced only the skin, fat and muscle, Judge Roberts said. Apiata was discharged from hospital the next day.
Orr was also treated by ED staff for a bleeding and broken nose caused by Apiata hitting him.
Judge Roberts said there was always potential for serious injury or death when a knife was used in a conflict.
Orr was sentenced to 12 months' home detention, with credit for the $500 he paid over to an organisation, a concession for his guilty plea and allowance for the provocative and antagonistic behaviour from Apiata.
Payment of any money to Apiata would not be appropriate, the judge said, describing the victim as a "resilient individual".
As part of his counselling, Orr should be given oversight to reduce his methadone intake, Judge Roberts said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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