A man accused of stabbing a steak knife into another man's eye at a party has been found not guilty.
Wallace Edwards, 33, was on trial after it was alleged he attacked Mr Tuhou on July 2 last year with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.
Today in the New Plymouth District Court a jury took an hour and a half to unanimously find Edwards not guilty.
During the three day trial the jury heard the victim Stanley James Tuhou was drunk went to his neighbour's flat for a party and a feed and ended up with a knife embedded in an eye.
"I was just sitting there drinking, next thing I had a knife in my eye," he said.
Other witnesses at the party described how they saw Mr Tuhou sitting on the sofa with a steak knife sticking out of a lower eyelid.
The man sitting next to him tried to stop Tuhou from pulling it out but he did so and the wound bled profusely, the court was told.
In his opening on Monday, prosecutor Andrew Britton said Mr Tuhou was stabbed by Edwards at a party in a flat in Euclid St.
Edwards did so in response to Mr Tuhou's partner, Melissa Darlene Paranihi, telling Edwards that his partner, Vendetta (Rangi) Wilson, had had sex with her partner, Mr Tuhou.
In response, Edwards had grabbed a steak knife, gone into the lounge and stabbed Mr Tuhou in an eye before fleeing.
Sitting next to Mr Tuhou on the couch, Warren Cowley turned to see the knife sticking out of one of Mr Tuhou's eyes.
He wrestled with him, holding his arms to try to stop him pulling it out.
But Mr Tuhou managed to pull it out and Mr Cowley got toilet paper to stem the bleeding before the ambulance arrived.
Edwards' lawyer, Kylie Pascoe, said her client was not guilty.
Mr Tuhou was the aggressor and Edwards had simply reacted in self-defence and was by law justified in using force to protect himself.
Mr Tuhou was taken to Taranaki Base Hospital for treatment for a 3-centimetre-long wound.
"I got it stitched up. It missed my eyeball and went down the back," he said.
Mr Tuhou agreed with Ms Pascoe that he had a problem with alcohol and had been drinking all day before going to the party.
"I should have been at work but I decided to drink instead."
Ms Pascoe said the alcohol meant Mr Tuhou did not have an incredibly good recall of the night.
"I know I was stabbed," Mr Tuhou said.
Ms Pascoe said Mr Tuhou had become aggressive at the party and was waving knives around and nearly hit Edwards.
"Wallace went into the lounge and you followed him," Ms Pascoe said.
"No, it's all lies."
Mr Tuhou had started lunging at Edwards with the knives, she said.
"There was no lunging. There was no knife," Mr Tuhou replied.
Edwards was forced to defend himself and the knife lodged in Mr Tuhou's face, Ms Pascoe said.
"You are making up a whole lot of bull...," Mr Tuhou said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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