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A man who stabbed a fellow university student over a woman has been jailed for two years, with leave to apply for home detention.
The 19-year-old man was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm earlier this year.
The defendant had known the victim since secondary school, Judge Bruce Davidson told the court.
In that time both young men had developed an interest in the same young woman, and three years prior to the attack the victim had begun a relationship with her, the judge said.
Shortly before the stabbing, the defendant came to believe the victim had “wronged” this woman.
As well as suffering from depression, anxiety, social inadequacy and obsessive compulsive disorder, the defendant had a “very old-fashioned sense of honour” which had developed from his absorption with classic literature, the judge said.
He bought a craft knife and, knowing the victim’s lecture schedule, planned a time and place and attacked him on September 4, at Victoria University’s Kelburn Parade campus.
Judge Davidson said the stabbing left the victim with cuts to his stomach and deep cuts to his arms which required internal stitches.
He was now more vigilant and cautious in his everyday life.
Judge Davidson said he was granting the defendant permanent name suppression in order to increase his chances of successful rehabilitation.
The defendant’s lawyer Noel Sainsbury said his client was a gentle, placid, intellectually gifted individual, and the violent offence had been “a bolt from the blue”.
The defendant had suffered mental health problems and had been bullied for many years, Mr Sainsbury said.
At the time of the stabbing he had been self-medicating and had doubled the dosage of his anti-depressants.
He was seriously unwell when he attacked the victim.
“Sadly in our society we don’t always deal well with those who suffer from that type of illness, and it can be very isolating,” Mr Sainsbury said.
Being sent to jail would seriously damage the victim’s chances of rehabilitating, and therefore would risk creating a future danger to society.
Crown prosecutor Mark O’Donoghue said the victim had forgiven the defendant for the attack, and agreed he should be given leave to serve his sentence at home.
The defendant was also ordered to pay $1000 to the victim for emotional harm, and $2300 in compensation for lost tuition fees.