Alcohol-syndrome trial aborted

22:01, Dec 17 2012

The trial of a man said to have committed a knife attack during an alcohol-induced black-out has been aborted for legal reasons at the start of its second day.

The defence had called a psychiatrist as an expert witness to give evidence of a condition called alcohol idiosyncratic intoxication which he said could cause people to act in unexpected and violent ways that were out of character.

The Crown did not accept that the finding was valid for the 23-year-old Korean man accused of the attack, and was going to call another psychiatrist to give a different opinion.

Judge Jane Farish had discussions in chambers with the Crown and defence counsel last evening and this morning, and then announced that the trial could not proceed and discharged the jury. The reasons for ending the trial were suppressed.

The accused, Young Jae Lee, of central Christchurch, was remanded on bail to January 21 for a pre-trial call-over when a new trial date will be set on alternative charges of wounding a man with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and wounding him with intent to injure.

Evidence had been given at the trial that Lee had stabbed a man twice in the head at the end of a night of drinking.


The Press