A man who stabbed a fellow
partygoer through the eye with such force that the knife
embedded in his skull has today been jailed for more than
Nivard Juan Cain Smith, 20, had been having an enjoyable
evening at Sam Doyle's flat-leaving party in Christchurch
when a fight broke out.
The affray soon spilled outside onto Flockton Street.
As Mr Doyle, 20, tried to break up the brawl, Smith - who was
subject to a sentence of intensive supervision at the time -
thrust a 9cm blade into his head.
Lying in the gutter with the yellow-handled gibbing knife
sticking out of his head, Mr Doyle may have died had it not
been for the quick-thinking actions of the first police
officer on the scene, constable Carl Christensen.
Mr Christensen, a former ambulance officer, ensured the knife
was not removed from his head and applied bandaging while
awaiting an ambulance.
Christchurch District Court today heard it was only "good
fortune and good luck" that he didn't die from the horrific
injury, and Judge Brian Callaghan praised Mr Christensen's
Mr Doyle still needs surgery for ongoing double vision and
suffers from "ongoing psychological and emotional trauma"
which experts say could last for the rest of his life.
After a jury trial last October, Smith, unemployed of
Mairehau, was found guilty of wounding with intent to cause
grievous bodily harm.
He had denied intentionally stabbing Mr Doyle on February 16
The Crown said the stabbing had to have been done with
considerable force to penetrate 8mm of skull bone at the
After the incident, graphic images emerged of Mr Doyle with
the knife embedded in his skull, having gone through his
temple and eye socket.
He has made a remarkable recovery after several delicate
Mr Doyle was in court today to watch Smith get sentenced to
an eight year, three month jail sentence.
Crown prosecutor Catherine Butchard disputed any self-defence
argument, saying the stabbing was "entirely gratuitous".
"This was one extremely violent act, and really it is only
good fortune and good luck that Mr Doyle wasn't injured
fatally or in fact had far more serious injuries, like brain
damage," she said.
Family members of Mr Doyle had been at the party, and they
have been traumatised by what they had witnessed.
"The horror of the scene cannot be underestimated," the
Smith had previous convictions for violence, was on a
sentence of intensive supervision at the time, and given that
he still denies deliberately stabbing Mr Doyle, the Crown
believes "the community is in need of protection from Mr
Defence counsel Philip Allan said Smith had written an
apologetic letter to Mr Doyle after reflection of the events.
"He is remorseful in that he wishes every day that he hadn't
done what he did," Mr Allan said.
Judge Brian Callaghan accepted there was no suggestion that
Smith went to the party with any criminal intent. "But he did
do it," he said.
"To say that the complainant was lucky is an understatement."