Otago Daily Times

Stab­bing vic­tim out­raged by at­tacker’s sen­tence

- ROB KIDD Court re­porter rob.kidd@odt.co.nz Crime · Sexual Abuse · Incidents · Violence and Abuse · Society · Christchurch · Quezon City · Dunedin

A WO­MAN whose ca­reer prospects were left in tat­ters af­ter she was stabbed in both knees was out­raged by her at­tacker’s sen­tence.

Sade Te Ara Ba­chop (33) was sen­tenced to 22 months’ im­pris­on­ment at the Dunedin District Court, prompt­ing a vo­cal re­sponse from the vic­tim who ear­lier de­tailed the pain of her re­cov­ery and the per­ma­nent dam­age she had suf­fered.

The wo­man threw items to the ground and kicked them out of the door of the court­room, leav­ing a trail of ex­ple­tives in her wake.

Min­utes later, she was still be­ing calmed by sup­port­ers, po­lice and se­cu­rity.

She told the court the wounds meant she had lost some feel­ing in both legs, the right leg par­tic­u­larly bad.

Her right foot, she said, now ‘‘sort of flops’’ be­cause of the nerve dam­age.

It meant she could not at­tend train­ing cour­ses in Christchur­ch and all but ended her dreams of a ca­reer in agri­cul­ture.

The vic­tim told the court she strug­gled to stand for long pe­ri­ods and could not walk any great dis­tance.

On De­cem­ber 21 she was so­cial­is­ing with a group of peo­ple in­clud­ing Ba­chop.

A dis­agree­ment be­tween the pair turned phys­i­cal; Ba­chop grabbed the wo­man’s hair and she re­sponded by punch­ing the de­fen­dant in the face.

The vic­tim went to lie down on a bed, but it was not over.

Ba­chop went to a com­mu­nal kitchen and armed her­self with a plas­tic­han­dled 30cm kitchen knife ‘‘sim­i­lar in shape to a fil­let­ing knife’’, po­lice said.

She burst into the room where the vic­tim was ly­ing and yelled ‘‘I’m go­ing to stab you’’.

And she did.

As the wo­man tried to use her legs to re­pel the at­tack, Ba­chop stabbed her three times — once in each knee and once in the back, nar­rowly miss­ing the vic­tim’s lung.

She told the court she was un­able to move her legs for seven weeks and had to be sponge­washed by fam­ily.

De­fence coun­sel Anne Stevens QC said Ba­chop was an in­tra­venous drug user and had no sta­ble ad­dress at the time of the in­ci­dent.

She had re­quested help with her is­sues last year and con­tin­ued to seek as­sis­tance.

Her goal, the court heard, was to at­tend a kau­papa Maori res­i­den­tial pro­gramme in Christchur­ch as soon as she could.

Judge Michael Cros­bie said Ba­chop’s life had been ‘‘a se­ries of tragedies from the get go’’ and it would take a long and con­certed ef­fort to change its course.

The court heard the de­fen­dant had more than 100 con­vic­tions to her name and had re­peat­edly breached court or­ders.

Prison was the only avail­able out­come, the judge said.

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