A Christchurch father did not seek a jail term for his teenage son who stabbed him five times – and he got his wish.
The Crown accepted that there was an element of self-defence about the February 17 incident that led to 19-year-old Marcus Hirini being charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
After an altercation that moved through the house in the Christchurch suburb of Northcote in the early hours of the morning, Hirini picked up a large kitchen carving knife and stabbed his father in the belly, chest, and hand.
While he awaited sentencing, Hirini has had a restorative justice meeting with his father. Defence counsel Chris Nolan said the meeting had been “a positive experience” for Hirini, for his father, and the wider family.
He urged a home detention sentence, pointing out that Hirini was a young man, with no previous convictions for violence and the offending had been “reactionary”.
“Imprisonment will cause further harm to this family. It is not an outcome sought by the victim,” he told Christchurch District Court Judge Raoul Neave.
Hirini stabbed the 43-year-old victim five times causing a large laceration to his bowel, and wounds to his chest and hand.
The victim left the house and crossed the road to the address of a family member, who called emergency services. Police arrested Hirini at the scene, and his father had emergency surgery.
The victim received a 10cm cut to his chest, a 10cm cut to the lower abdomen with an eviscerated bowel, a cut to his loin, and a 10cm cut on his right hand.
Judge Neave said a deadly weapon had been used to inflict potentially life-threatening injuries, but noted that the Crown accepted there was an element of self-defence, though it was excessive and would not have justified a plea of self-defence.
He said Hirini’s background and upbringing had left a lot to be desired and in some ways had contributed a lot to the offending.
He reduced the starting point – a jail term of five-and-a-half years – for the issues of excessive self-defence, the long period on electronically monitored bail, for Hirini’s youth and previous good character, the restorative justice meeting, the treatment and counselling he was undergoing, and his guilty plea.
He imposed a term of nine months’ home detention to be served at a Bishopdale address, with special conditions.