Gang affiliations were not the motive for two Timaru men being stabbed late at night in the inner city, a judge has decided.
Karaitiana Dawson, 20, was sentenced in the Timaru District Court yesterday to two years' imprisonment on two charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He had been found guilty last November.
According to the summary of facts, on Saturday, January 26 last 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's associate was said to have been knocked 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 was heard to 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 but later admitted himself to hospital.
The Crown alleged the offending was a result of gang affiliations and Dawson and his associate were wearing dark clothes and bandannas associated with Black Power.
The victim had sent texts following the assaults saying, "yeah my bro, it is pretty bad, got shanked up."
The next text said he had knocked out Dawson's associate. In another text the victim said "we rolled them good", but acknowledged the other victim was still in hospital.
Judge Joanna Maze said she could find no evidence of gang affiliations. Dawson was targeted because he was with the son of the president of the local Black Power chapter, she said.
"That is the most likely explanation of the boasting texts the victim sent, who was out to make a name for himself, but that is a far cry from gang warfare."
Dawson had continually denied gang connections, she said.
"I have had the privilege of sitting in courts gang members frequent. It has given me the opportunity to observe and learn gang members do not deny their membership. That is why they use regalia and slogans and the indelible sign of membership is tattoos."
However a message needed to be sent to young people going into town drunk with weapons looking for altercations, she said, and sentenced Dawson to two years' imprisonment, giving him leave to apply for home detention.
- The Timaru Herald