In the Invercargill District Court on Friday, Marc Vincent Dykes, 54, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment but because of the time he had spent on remand, he had effectively served the penalty.
Earlier in the week, the defendant was expected to have a judge-alone trial but an 11-hour amendment of charges resulted in him pleading guilty to charges of wounding with reckless disregard, assault and wilful damage.
On December 28, 2022, Dykes was drinking at his Invercargill home with his flatmates, and as the day progressed, relationships between them became "fractious".
That evening, the defendant made threats which led to him twisting his flatmate’s arm and forcing it behind his back.
Dykes then picked up a chair and threw it towards the man, smashing a window with it in the process.
Two people came to the address when they found out the defendant was damaging the property.
When they arrived, Dykes came out of the house holding a craft knife and slashed one victim across the torso, causing a 15cm gash.
Another victim was also wounded and the third victim was slit across his thigh.
The defendant was tackled to the ground and eventually the knife was wrestled from him.
He was also wounded during the struggle and a fourth person had a minor injury to their leg.
Dykes had to be tasered before he was arrested and a victim was taken to hospital, where he received 36 stitches to three different wounds.
The defendant said he had been too drunk to recall how things had unfolded.
Judge Thomas Ingram warned Dykes the incident could have resulted in death.
"No court would treat any kind of stabbing as a minor matter and I certainly don’t," he said.
The judge said he was sympathetic to the defendant’s background and took that into account.
"You are a troubled man who has had significant trauma early in your life and that has contributed very strongly to the events on this particular day," he said.
"You cannot expect any leniency from the court in the future ... They are your issues and you need to address them."
Judge Ingram said it would not be in the public interest to pass a sentence that would result in Dykes facing the Parole Board, given he had already spent 14 months in custody.
He ordered the defendant to pay $813 reparation for the broken window.