Stabbing accused 'trying to be tough'

A Timaru man accused of stabbing two men told one he was "as good as dead" after a late-night inner-city brawl, the Timaru District Court has been told.

The trial of Karaitiana Dawson, 20, began yesterday before a jury of seven men and five women. He faces two charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The Crown alleges that in the early hours of Saturday, January 26 this year, he stabbed two men outside the Old Bank.

Dawson was in town with his girlfriend and a friend when he saw someone drop a knife, which he picked up. At 1.15am he crossed paths with two men at the Church St-Stafford St intersection.

Within a matter of seconds an altercation broke out, after the two groups descended on each other.

Dawson is then said to have produced a knife and started stabbing the two men. One suffered a single stab wound to the chest and struggled to breath, while the other had five stab wounds to the torso. The first man walked to the Sail and Anchor, in Sophia St, where he realised he had been stabbed, told someone and collapsed. Dawson is said to have followed him and said "you're as good as dead".

Dawson then walked over to his girlfriend and hugged her and concealed the knife under her top. The victim was taken to Timaru Hospital.

The second victim went home and later admitted himself to hospital.

Police were called and they arrested Dawson and his associate and girlfriend, on whom the knife was discovered.

Dawson said he started stabbing the two men because his associate had been knocked out and was being stomped on and he had the knife because "I was trying to be tough".

Charges against Dawson's associate were dropped.

Dawson's defence will be that he acted in self-defence and that he had been so viciously set upon he had no other choice but to use the knife to get his attackers off him.

The trial is set down for the rest of the week.

The Timaru Herald