Friend stabbed ‘out of the blue’ after Kmart trip

Toni Waters
Toni Waters
A woman stabbed in the neck by her friend after a trip to Kmart says she will never know why the "out-of-the-blue" attack occurred.

Toni Waters, 31, appeared in the Invercargill District Court last week after pleading guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.

Judge Kevin Phillips sentenced her to two and a-half years’ imprisonment.

On May 20, Waters’ friend picked her up as she was forbidden to drive at the time.

They visited a residential address multiple times and also spent time at the Southland Tavern that night.

About 10pm, the pair went shopping at Kmart in Invercargill.

When they got back to the car, Waters told her friend she had forgotten something and went back into the store alone.

CCTV footage showed her buying a set of five kitchen knives and putting them in a bag to hide them from the victim.

Waters asked her friend to drive her back to the residential address, and as she did she removed a knife from the packaging.

The victim asked what she was doing and Waters replied she needed the knife to open something.

As the woman was driving, the defendant used the knife to slash her in the neck.

The victim turned towards Waters who stabbed her twice more in the forehead while the victim put her hands up to protect herself.

But Waters continued the attack.

"They told me I had to take you out," she said.

The victim attempted to escape but Waters pulled her back into the car.

The victim drove to a BP petrol station and asked an employee for help.

"No don’t go there, you’ll get me into trouble," Waters told her.

The staff member called emergency services while the victim held napkins to her neck in an attempt to stop the blood flow.

Waters fled in the car and disposed of the weapon and the clothing she had been wearing.

"Yes I stabbed her, but I had to, otherwise someone would harm [me]," she told police.

The victim needed 25 stitches and four staples, some of which had not yet been removed, the court heard.

"In reality, it was only good fortune that this victim lives today and is able to write a victim impact statement," Judge Phillips said.

Her statement detailed the long-lasting impacts of her injuries and the emotional turmoil she suffered after the attack.

"It’s something I’ll have to live with, knowing she was so close to ending my life and not knowing why."

Judge Phillips put Waters’ first violent crime down to her drug use.

"At the time of this offending you were in a paranoid state ... induced by a copious amount of methamphetamine consumed over an amount of months if not years.

"It came out of the blue without reasonable cause."

He took into account the defendant’s deprivation in her youth, her early guilty plea and drug dependency.

The discounts meant a starting point of seven years’ imprisonment was reduced to two and a-half years.

The defendant had been in custody since her arrest.