Teenager acquitted of stabbing man in back

A teenager has been acquitted of stabbing a man in the back but still has to serve a sentence of home detention.

Matthew Mackay Greiving, 19, was on trial at the Invercargill District Court last month and was found not guilty of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The jury found the teenager had acted in self-defence.

On the night of September 30, Greiving (then 18) and two of his 15-year-old friends were drinking at an address in Lorneville.

About midnight, a 17-year-old girl showed up at the house with alcohol.

The defendant and his friend said she was not invited and they did not want her there.

"It just like ... ruined it," Greiving said.

The court heard she went into the living room and got undressed in front of the defendant and his friend.

Greiving said she then went into the room of one of the 15-year-olds and joined him in bed.

He believed the boy did not want her there and started playing loud music, which annoyed her, Greiving said.

The girl said the boys were being unkind to her and claimed they poured alcohol on her face, but the defendant and other witnesses denied this.

Soon after, she was picked up and left the property.

The defendant said the people who picked the girl up were yelling her name and sounded angry.

Greiving said he felt better after the girl left and did not believe any more problems would occur.

He planned to watch television with his friends and go to sleep, he said.

But about 3am the next morning, police were called to the Lorneville address.

A group of people had attempted to break in to a sleep-out where Greiving and one of his friends were staying.

One witness said he thought there were about 10 people screaming "sieg heil" and barking while trying to kick the door down.

One person smashed the sleep-out window and at some stage, Greiving tucked a knife down his pants.

A person came out of the main house and told everyone he had called the police.

Most of the group fled.

The two boys left the sleepout and a fight between them and members of the group began.

Greiving said he was being strangled by a bigger man.

He took the knife out of his pants, reached behind the man and plunged the weapon in his back.

"I thought if I didn’t do the knife then, that was me gone," Greiving said in his police interview.

"I just wanted to get him away from me. I didn’t want to, like, kill him, you know?"

Before the defendant’s interview, he admitted to stabbing the man in the back.

"Actually, I can’t lie any more. I did it and I’m sorry. I stabbed him with a knife, from in the sleepout," Greiving said.

The victim was taken to Christchurch Hospital and had to undergo a risky surgery as a result of the altercation.

Greiving had name suppression for the duration of his trial last month, but his criminal record can now be revealed.

In July this year he was sentenced to 11 months’ home detention for 102 convictions, including 71 burglaries.

Judge Russell Walker told Greiving he needed to make changes in his life.

"I hope that things have changed in your life so that you never have to go through that again," he said.

"You can’t ever put yourself back in the position you were [in] a year ago."

felicity.dear@odt.co.nz

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