Man found guilty of stabbings

A Timaru man has been found guilty of stabbing two men with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The trial of Karaitiana Dawson, 20, began on Tuesday and finished yesterday before a jury of seven men and five women.

After four hours of deliberations he was found guilty of two charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The jury had been told to put aside any talk of gang affiliations before retiring to consider a verdict.

On Saturday, January 26 this year, Dawson stabbed two men outside the Old Bank tavern.

At 1.15am he crossed paths with the two victims and an altercation broke out.

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 breathe, while the other had five stab wounds to the torso.

The first man walked to the Sail and Anchor Bar in Sophia St, where he realised he had been stabbed, told someone, and collapsed.

Dawson is said to have followed him and a victim heard him say to the victim "you're as good as dead". Dawson then walked over to his girlfriend 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.

In her summing up, Judge Joanna Maze said the jury was to put aside mentions of gang affiliations of both parties.

"He [Dawson] has said he did not have any gang affiliations. Even those that do have gang affiliations are entitled to be treated without prejudice."

Dawson's lawyer, Lee Lee Heah, said that Dawson had acted in self-defence as he was on the ground during the altercation. "The law does not require you to consider the level of [self] defence he used."

Dawson had given evidence that his friend had been knocked out and then he was being kicked and punched in the head, slipping in and out of consciousness.

Andrew McRae, for the Crown, said Dawson had had a problematic evening before the fight took place, having been thrown out of bars and having an altercation before the stabbing, where he "brought a knife to a fist fight".

"He could have retreated. He was seen throwing punches by an eye-witness and chased the victim to the Sail where he was pumped up walking around, which showed he had no fear."

Dawson was remanded on bail to January 24 for sentencing.

The Timaru Herald