Otago Daily Times

Stabbing victim outraged by attacker’s sentence

- ROB KIDD Court reporter rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

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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