Dispute over car led to knife incident

A car-swap gone wrong was the fuel for a man wielding a knife outside a South Dunedin fast-food restaurant, a court has heard.

Daniel James Kelly (21) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to possessing the weapon and intentional damage.

The victim, Todd Casey, was at Burger King in Andersons Bay Rd on June 27 when he found his exit from the car park blocked by another vehicle.

One of the men inside, he told the Otago Daily Times at the time, he recognised from an earlier vehicle swap.

That man had demanded money from Mr Casey because he claimed the car he ended up with was defective.

Despite it being Kelly's brother who had the gripe with the victim, it was the defendant who walked over with knife in hand.

Seeing the threat, Mr Casey backed off.

Kelly kicked the car's wing mirror then slashed the tyre, causing it to deflate.

Defence counsel Brendan Stephenson said it was simply a chance meeting with the victim.

''He did not go to the car park to commit any offending,'' he said. ''He was there to just get a feed, as he puts it.''

Judge Michael Turner said the offending was vastly aggravated by the fact that Kelly was serving a sentence of supervision for a similar earlier weapons offence.

The law, the judge said, dictated someone who committed two such crimes in a short space of time must go to prison unless there were special circumstances.

He said Kelly's personal situation fitted that proviso.

Taking into account the defendant's background, Judge Turner said it was somewhat understandable he was more easily led than others.

Kelly was sentenced to 12 months' intensive supervision, which replaced the supervision sentence he was serving.

He was also ordered to pay the victim $200 for emotional harm.

The judge cancelled Kelly's $1500 fines and substituted 100 hours of community work.



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