St Albans stabbing-accused remanded

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 14:59 18/02/2013
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SIGHT SAVED: An X-ray of the knife embedded in the stabbing victim’s head.

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A man alleged to have embedded a knife in another man's skull at a St Albans party will stay in custody while the police complete a "complex investigation".

Judge Tony Couch decided today that Nivard Juan Caine Smith, 20, would stay in custody while police continue to interview about 50 partygoers and carry out forensic testing.

He indicated that Smith's bail application might be reconsidered then.

Bail was refused in the Christchurch District Court today and Smith was remanded to March 5 for a defence lawyer to be assigned.

"There is a complex investigation to be carried out by the police," said the judge.

"It sounds as though the complainant is lucky he's not dead."

The incident occurred at a house in Flockton St about 1am on Saturday when the host of a party of about 50 people was allegedly stabbed during a fight that spilled out onto the street. 

The man was taken to hospital with the 9cm blade still embedded in his skull, but it was removed during surgery and he has been reported to be in a stable condition.

Smith appeared in court before justices of the peace on Saturday morning and was remanded in custody to today, to make a bail application.

His mother - who was upset when bail was refused - was in court along with several of her son's supporters for his appearance today.

Police prosecutor Bronwen Skea said the police alleged he took the knife to the party and used it without warning when he was he was being escorted off the property. 

Duty lawyer Phillip Allan said it was proposed that Smith could be bailed to live at his mother's Mairehau address, where he would be subject to a curfew and a condition not to consume alcohol or drugs.

Judge Couch set out his reasons for refusing bail while the police continued their investigation by interviewing a large number of witnesses.

"It may take some time," he said. 

"I am not prepared to grant bail, and he will be remanded in custody in the meantime. It may well be that once the police investigation is sufficiently complete, a further application for bail can be made."

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- The Press

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