‘Raging’ man admits he wanted to kill

A "raging" Dunedinite who chased a man with a knife after finding him with his former partner later told police he wanted to kill him.

Dorian Dylan Fletcher’s attitude towards the victim had improved little in the months following the incident, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

The 24-year-old told Probation he was "not too concerned" about the other man, who he said had been "in the wrong place at the wrong time".

The defendant, who had no previous convictions, had broken up with his partner in April last year.

Only days later, Fletcher turned up at the home they previously shared to gather some of his belongings when a dispute arose over a photo album.

He grabbed the woman by the arms and pushed her on to a bed when she refused to give up the item, a police summary said.

Fletcher then took hold of an axe and threatened self-harm.

Concerned for his safety, his ex-partner stepped in.

"The defendant responded by saying that he was stronger than her, that he would put her in his vehicle and then drive off a cliff, killing them both," court documents said.

Fletcher left the address without further incident.

Six days later, though, he returned, and his anger had not abated.

Fletcher, carrying a knife with an 18cm blade, entered the house and brandished it at the 26-year-old friend of his ex.

The victim ran off towards his car with the defendant in pursuit, yelling expletive-laden threats.

Police found Fletcher at the scene, the weapon hidden under the back seat of his car.

"The defendant stated he was raging when he saw the [man] in the house and wanted to kill him with the knife he had on him," the summary said.

Judge Jim Large said that the behaviour was "totally unacceptable".

"The threat to the second victim with the knife, in the circumstances you were in, in the rage you were in, it’s very likely something further would have happened had he not left the premises, because you clearly were not in control of yourself," he said.

The judge said it was concerning that Fletcher had downplayed his actions in pre-sentencing interviews.

Defence counsel Karlena Lawrence highlighted the fact the crimes had happened a year ago and there had been no recurrence of the man’s wayward conduct.

Fletcher, who admitted charges of threatening to kill, possessing a weapon and assault in a family relationship, was sentenced to four months’ community detention and 18 months’ intensive supervision.

As well as for his violence, Judge Large ordered the defendant attend counselling for his gambling habit which had seen him lose "a horrendous amount" in the last two years.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz , Court reporter