Chch man jailed after knife attack

ANNE CLARKSON
Last updated 12:32 15/11/2012

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A Christchurch man has been jailed for five years for cutting another man's throat with a knife.

Phillip John Gash, 57, appeared at the High Court in Christchurch today for sentencing on charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, aggravated burglary, threatening to kill, assault with intent to injure, and assaulting a woman.

The incident happened in June last year when Gash went to a caravan where his wife was staying. He let down a tyre and knocked his wife to the floor when she answered the door.

He threw himself on top of her and continued hitting her. Another man in the caravan leapt on top of Gash, and was flipped onto his back and cut in the throat with a knife.

The offending happened while he was on bail and while his wife had a protection order in place.

Defence counsel Andrew McKenzie said the injury to Gash's victim was dramatic and frightening but not life threatening, and was simply dealt with at the hospital.

He said Gash's attack was impulsive, and the knife had been used to cut a tyre on the caravan.

This was a case of a man whose life was going down the sink, his possessions had been ruined in the rain or were gone, and he was now frail physically and mentally, he said.

Gash appeared in court today in a wheelchair because of renal failure.

He knew he had a problem with violence and temper, and regretted what he had done, McKenzie said.

Crown prosecutor Deidre Orchard said Gash had an extensive history of offending over a long period.

Justice Kos said a jury had acquitted Gash of attempted murder, which he agreed with.

He said Gash had a moment of madness when he pulled the knife on his victim but believed the knife was there to use on the caravan, not on people.

The victim impact reports said his wife and her friend were traumatised, and the man thought he was going to be killed and was still in counselling.

Justice Kos said Gash had 48 prior convictions, and had a serious problem managing his anger. He was a high risk for further offending and causing harm to others.

He said Gash was thrown to the ground, held down and beaten about the head by his victims at a later date.

He escaped but collapsed nearby and spent two weeks in hospital.

Gash was sentenced to five years in prison, but Justice Kos did not agree to the minimum period of imprisonment.

He read the three strikes warning for repeat violent offending to Gash.

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- The Press

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