Convicted on three charges from stabbing incident

A Dunedin man charged with attempting to murder a young mother he stabbed and tried to smother last November has been convicted on three other charges related to the attack.

The attempted murder charge and one of assault to commit sexual violation were both withdrawn when Michael John Chilcott (21) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday and admitted indictably-laid charges of aggravated burglary, indecent assault and intentionally causing grievous bodily harm.

Chilcott also admitted five unrelated charges of breaching conditions of a sentence of intensive supervision.

On all charges he was convicted by Judge Jonathan Down and remanded in custody for sentence on February 28.

The summary from prosecutor Sergeant Paul Knox said Chilcott did not know the 26-year-old woman when he went to her flat about 8.50am on November 19 and asked for a cup of water. The woman filled his coffee mug with water and escorted him out the back door. About 20 seconds later, he returned, asking for another cup of water.

As the woman walked towards the kitchen, Chilcott followed her. Beside the door to her bedroom, he struck her on the face with his coffee mug and punched her. He pushed her into the bedroom, telling her to be quiet and told her to do what he wanted or he would harm her 3-year-old child, whom he directed to go to the lounge.

After shutting the bedroom door, he pushed the woman down on the bed. She kicked out at him and he grabbed her legs, pulling down her pyjama pants. He then lay on top of her, using his weight to control her, and tried to undo his trousers.

The woman continued to struggle and Chilcott pulled a pair of scissors from his pocket. He opened them, pushing the blade into the woman's neck so hard she could feel it against the roof of her mouth. When she tried to protect herself, he stabbed her four more times in the neck and three times behind the ear. She managed to grab the scissors from him and Chilcott put both hands around her neck and started choking her.

The woman dropped the scissors so she could prise his hands from her throat and the defendant fell off the bed. He picked up a pillow and tried to smother her before vomiting and saying ''what have I done''. He talked about leaving the flat if she promised not to call the police.

The woman agreed to that but when she went to leave the room to check on her child, Chilcott attacked her again. During the struggle they both fell to the floor and he again placed a pillow over her face in another attempt to smother her.

Eventually, the victim managed to break free. She ran into the living area where she unlocked the back door. Chilcott threatened to hurt her child if she did not return to the bedroom, so she agreed to come back. However, after taking a few steps, she turned and sprinted out the back door with the child. They were helped by a motorist, who took them to Dunedin Hospital.

The woman needed surgery for five stab wounds to her neck and three behind her ear. She also had major swelling to her face, two black eyes, a swollen upper lip, bruising to her arms and cuts to her hands.

Chilcott had fled. When apprehended by police, he admitted responsibility for the attack but denied it was sexually motivated. He claimed he had been looking for money.

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