Man hunted, stabbed friend

A man hunted down his friend with a weapon and stabbed him in the neck on the streets of Invercargill, a court has heard.

James Michael Tipuna, 60, appeared in the Invercargill District Court last week after pleading guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The court heard on August 30, the man and an acquaintance had an argument in Esk St, during which threats and insults were made. Tipuna went home to The Grand Accommodation and grabbed a multi-tool before heading out to find the victim.

He saw the victim leaving a public bathroom and issued a threat before using the multi-tool to stab the victim’s neck, narrowly missing major arteries.

The defendant admitted to police that he "went hunting" for the victim after their dispute.

Crown prosecutor Sam Welsh said the wound "had the potential to be fatal" and it was only thanks to good luck that the injury was not worse.

Counsel Peter Redpath said despite his client’s behaviour, he was not inherently a bad person and his personal circumstances were compelling.

The court heard Tipuna had diagnosed mental health issues and the offending occurred when he was not taking his medication while using illicit drugs.

"You can be a very violent man, and if you choose to stop taking your medication it is very clear now that you are a risk to the community," Judge Duncan Harvey said.

Tipuna told report writers vastly different accounts of his upbringing and matters in his cultural report were almost entirely self-reported.

He told one report writer the offending was merely "a nick to the neck".

Judge Harvey acknowledged the man had been called "an extremely unpleasant name" before the attack — the same name he was called in 2022 which prompted him to chase someone with a knife.

The judge sentenced Tipuna to two years and 10 months’ imprisonment.