Timaru man jailed for stabbing

A Timaru man has been jailed for eight years for repeatedly stabbing another man with a broken glass.

John Benson, 45, was sentenced on one charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm when he appeared in the Timaru District Court before Judge Joanna Maze yesterday.

He was convicted and imprisoned for eight years, the conviction earning him a three-strikes warning.

Benson and the victim were drinking together at his Trafalgar St flat on October 23 last year.

In a disputed fact hearing in May, the victim said Benson continuously threatened to kill him while stabbing him in the face. After being stabbed in the throat and escaping, the victim went to his own apartment and called the police.

In court yesterday, Judge Maze said the fight started when the victim bought up a past dispute and called Benson a coward.

Judge Maze described the injuries as a "deep cut to the left cheek, arterial bleeding, deep cut to his (the victim's) forehead, lacerations above both eyes and a small laceration to his neck".

Benson was described as a chronic alcoholic who was taking steps to reduce his alcohol intake.

"You were intoxicated to the point of hallucination at the time of the incident and you could not even recall the facts," Maze said.

Defence lawyer Douglas Brown said Benson had been drinking on and off for 30 years and realised he could not drink again and that any amount of alcohol would cause him to engage in violence.

Judge Maze said, given his early guilty plea and given that he is taking steps to not drink alcohol and that the circumstances of the offence were such that it could be said there was deliberate callousness and there were aggravating factors involved, he would be sentenced to eight years imprisonment.

The maximum sentence was 14 years' imprisonment.

The Timaru Herald