'Bizarre' stabbing ruled a suicide

A coroner has found a Timaru man's death was a suicide, although he regretted his actions after he fatally stabbed himself in what may have been a declaration of love.

A 111 call recorded the fatal moments on Saturday July 28, 2012 when Tony Francis Crammond, 44, stabbed himself four times, with police initially launching a homicide inquiry.

Coroner Richard McElrea yesterday released his finding that Crammond had died due to a self-inflicted stab wound to the lung and pulmonary artery.

"The self-injury was intentional and he knew the probable consequences. His death constitutes suicide. Having carried out his self-injury he regretted his actions.

"In the course of the self-stabbing actions, he professed love to his female companion, ‘I love you, eh' and "I'm f ... no good for you'.

"One possible explanation of this is that his actions were actions of bravado and he was simply showing her how much he loved her."

On the fatal day, at 10am, Crammond's partner's brother arrived with alcohol and the three started drinking.

The brother left at 3pm. In the early evening an argument developed between Crammond and his partner.

At 6.47pm a non-speech emergency 111 call was made from Crammond's phone. The call recorded the couple arguing and Crammond assaulting his partner and then threatening he would "do you now before the f... police get here, and do myself".

The transcript records the couple saying they loved each other, then she said: "Oh God, don't do this to me, don't do it. What have you done? How can you do this, you idiot?"

Crammond said: "I love you, 'cause I'm sick of the arguing."

The partner can then be heard making a phone call to a friend and saying: "Hey, Tony just stabbed himself and there is blood everywhere.

"[He] goes "I'm f ... no good for you', and then just stabbed himself with a f ... knife."

Police and St John Ambulance arrived. In the ambulance on the way to hospital, Crammond repeated that he did not want to die. He was taken into the hospital but became unconscious and could not be revived. He had four stab wounds to his chest.

McElrea decided to release the evidence, normally suppressed in self-inflicted deaths, to allay family fears other people were responsible for Crammond's death.

"The bizarre actions in stabbing himself were intentional and he knew the probable consequences," the Coroner said. The required threshold for finding intentional self-inflicted death has been reached, notwithstanding his later regrets and wish not to die."

The Timaru Herald