Jury finds man not guilty of stabbing gang member

After two years of denying his involvement in the stabbing of a gang member in Invercargill, 18-year-old Shannon Withers has cleared his name.

A jury of six men and six women presented its verdict to Justice Gerald Nation at Invercargill High Court yesterday following a trial which lasted a week and a-half.

Withers was found not guilty of three charges — attempted murder and aggravated robbery, and an alternative charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

At the time, 16 years old and living at a Mataura Mongrel Mob pad, he was accused of stabbing John Phillip O’Brien, a member of Mangu Kaha, a Black Power splinter group, about 5.15pm on February 16, 2018.

The incident at the corner of Ythan and Janet Sts, left Mr O’Brien with lacerations to his liver, kidney and abdominal wall.

Jury members heard the closing arguments from Crown prosecutor Sarah McKenzie and defence counsel Hugo Young on Wednesday.