Stop the stabbings, judge warns Palm Islanders
A TOWNSVILLE judge has extraordinarily called on the people of Palm Island to stop stabbing each other.
Judge Gregory Lynham made the comments in the District Court yesterday while sentencing Palm Island man Harry Friday, 19, to jail for stabbing Shane Parker twice in the back at a party last year.
“A message needs to be sent to the people of Palm Island of the use of knives in of- fences being committed on people who are often known to the offender,” Judge Lynham said. “That conduct needs to cease.”
Judge Lynham sentenced Friday to five years jail for grievous bodily harm, unlawfully entering a car, obstruct police and attempted burglary.
He told Friday he was frustrated by an increasing number of serious stabbing cases.
“I am sure you know peo- ple on Palm Island who have been killed by people stabbing them,” he said. “You can’t pick up a knife and stab someone and not expect there to be serious consequences.
“You attacked him from behind where he would not be able to defend himself. Your conduct was reprehensible.”
The court was told that on December 10, Friday had been celebrating his birthday with about 100 people at a party, when fighting broke out. The stabbing victim was evacuated to Townsville Hospital where he was operated on for a collapsed lung.
Friday will be eligible for parole on March 13, 2018.
Palm Island Mayor Alf Lacey said he did not support any type of violent behaviour and invited Townsville court leaders to visit the island to discuss the issues.
“I welcome the Chief Judge to come to Palm and sit at the table with us and we would be asking the courts to give us some of the data,” Cr Lacey said.
“If violence is on the rise, please give us the numbers so we can put it in front of our town.”
Cr Lacey said residents were beginning to work on a plan to improve safety and were awaiting the outcome of an alcohol management plan.