Dismissal from prosecution in near-fatal stabbing case

PHILIPSBURG–The 32-year-old suspect in a stabbing incident on A. Th. Illidge Road on September 28, 2014, was dismissed from all prosecution by the Court of First Instance on Thursday. The Prosecutor had called for a seven-year prison sentence for attempted manslaughter, during the September 8 hearing in this case.

Suspect L.A.C.O. was held for one of two men who got injured during an argument at a garage in the vicinity of Sunny Food supermarket.
The victim had robbed L.A.C.O.’s brother and had tried to do the same one day before the incident. L.A.C.O. was angry with the victim and had gone looking for him to discuss the situation.
The two men got into an altercation in which the defendant told the victim that he did not want to see him in the neighbourhood again. He then turned away and left, without provoking the victim or any act of violence by this man, the Court said.
The suspect was the first to become injured as he was stabbed in his back with a knife. He then turned, after which the men started a struggle in which the knife fell to the ground. The suspect picked the weapon up and stabbed the victim in his back.
Both men got injured in the fight, but the main victim landed in hospital in critical condition after having had surgery to have a knife removed from his back.
Attorney-at-law Brenda Brooks pleaded self-defence and called for her client’s full acquittal as he was entitled to exert excessive violence in defending himself, she said during the court hearing.
In the verdict, the Court said it could not be ascertained that the suspect had had the intention to kill. He had stated he had stabbed the victim in his chest and in his back, but no medical information about the severity of the wounds was presented. Therefore, it could not be established whether the stabbing could have led to the victim’s death.
The Court did find inflicting of grievous bodily harm proven. Accounts by the victim’s mother indicate that her son has lost the ability to walk and requires permanent care.
Despite the fact that the suspect was stabbed in his back, and his actions to defend himself were “evident and justified,” the Court found that he had gone too far in his defence.
Once he took the knife in his possession during the fight and his brother had come to his assistance, the defendant should have distanced himself from the victim and order him, -if necessary at knifepoint-, to leave, the Judge said.
The Court arrived at the conclusion that the defendant should not be punished as he had been desperate and had to fight for his life, as the later victim kept attacking him and tried to stab him again. The defendant had gone too far, but his behaviour was excusable because he was driven by intense emotions, the Judge concluded.

Source: Daily Herald
Dismissal from prosecution in near-fatal stabbing case